Currently, there are four largest supertankers in the world. They are identified as the TI class of supertankers that comprises the vessels – TI Asia, TI Africa, TI Oceania, and TI Europe.
It cannot be argued that, in fact, the Seawise Giant was the first and unbeatable titleholder of the largest ship in the whole wide world. It was actually a supertanker and have gone through many modifications in terms of structure and even names. However, the Seawise Giant was dismissed after 30 years of operation and in 2010, was scrapped. The “TI” that is attached to the names of these largest supertankers indicates to the VLCC Tanker Pool regulator, the Tanker International L.L.C. This denotes the first class of ships that is the ultra-large-crude carriers to be established in the next twenty-five years.
Past Events of the TI Supertankers
All such four supertankers were actually denominated or recognized as the fantastic four. They were built for the marine company Hellespont in the years 2002 and 2003 for Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Originally, the class was identified the Hellespont Alhambra, Hellespont Fairfax, Hellespont Metropolis and the Hellespont Tara. Sometime in the year 2004, the class was acquired in a joint manner.
The OSG or Overseas Shipholding Group procured the Hellespont Metropolis and the Hellespont Tara, which are now the TI Africa and TI Asia flagged for Belgium, respectively. On the other hand, the Hellespont Fairfax and Hellespont Alhambra were obtained by Euronav NV. It is a Belgian shipowner and was able to rename the largest supertankers as TI Oceania and TI Europe. Both were also flagged for Belgium, correspondingly.
These largest supertankers in the world possessed notable attributes. Which in fact, make them distinct from the other currently sailing ships today.
Such supertankers have a relatively elevated speed that actually boosts their capacity of earnings. Particularly, 17.5 knots in ballast and 16.5 knots laden. Also, they are expansive than the new locks of the Panama Canal. This is basically the factor why these giant ships cannot pass through the Suez Canal as well. Unless, when they are in a ballast navigation. Other than these features, the supertankers or so-called fantastic four are dual-hulled vessels. Which means, these ships provide a safe, secure, and better measure of carrying oil. In fact, without having to cause a major problem to the oceanic environment in the event of any unfavorable incident. Furthermore, these double-hulled oil tankers have topmost hulls engineered to mirror back sunlight. Consequently, the ballast tanks of the ships are outfitted with inert gases. Essentially, this ensures the absence of complications that will possibly occur of unintentional or accidental gas leakage.
The TI Africa or formerly known as Hellespont Metropolis is virtually the second oldest ship among the ultra-large-crude carriers. It was introduced and put into operation in September 2001 after being built in January 2000. Similar to its sister vessel, the TI Asia, it was acquired by the Overseas Shipholding Group. Sometime in the year 2010, this supertanker was transformed into a Floating Storage and Offloading ship.
Originally, Hellespont Tara, the TI Asia happened to be the earliest oil tanker out of the other fantastic four fleet. The TI Asia was officially put into motion in June 2001. She was ordered in January 2000, same with her sister TI Africa. After a period of ten years of toting crude cargo, the TI Asia was then converted as an FSO ship or Floating Storage and Offloading unit.
Previously known as Hellespont Fairfax, TI Oceania has officially started operating in 2002. Since then, this enormous tanker has been successfully plying its utility. In terms of capacity, the vessel measures 380m lengthwise, 68m breadthwise, 34m depth wise and 24.5m draught wise. TI Oceania has a deadweight tonnage of 400,000tonnes. Its cargo hauling capacity is more than 3million oil barrels.
TI Europe is one of the so-called fantastic four and was initially conceived to be Hellespont Alhambra. It was constructed in 2001 and being introduced and started operation the following year. TI Europe has a gross tonnage of 2,304,006 tonnes. Basically, this capacity allows the supertanker to transport a cargo hauling of over 5million liters of crude oil.