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History

The SKS name first appeared in 1991 when three companies – Sovcomflot, Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skipsrederi (KGJS), and Sinochem -  formed a pool of vessels from whose initial letters the name SKS was derived.  KGJS was the manager of the pool which controlled ten 96,000dwt Ore-Bulk-Oil carriers (OBOs) ordered by the SKS owners and delivered from Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea in 1991/1992. OBOs are vessels designed to perform as a tanker for oil or a bulkcarrier for dry cargo better able to minimize wasteful ballast legs between cargoes, to the benefit of both parties as well as the environment.

The pool operated successfully, however KGJS had plans for expansion not shared by the other owners so in 1995 Sovcomflot and Sinochem withdrew their interest in SKS and the following year the Chilean company, Compania Sud Americana De Vapores S.A (CSAV) was welcomed as a joint shareholder with KGJS. This was the year when the pool took delivery of the first of what was to become ten 110,000dwt OBOs from Hyundai, forming the SKS T-class named after rivers whose names began with a ‘T’. This series of vessels incorporated the latest safety features required by the industry in recent years as well as technical improvements over the previous SKS OBOs. SKS took delivery of 3 vessels in 1996, 3 vessels in 1997 and 4 vessels in this class in 1999. Having coated cargo tanks they would go on to compete in the large product tanker market as LR2s, as Aframaxes in the crude oil market, and as Baby-Capes in the bulkcarrier market, something they continue to do to this day

The success of SKS encouraged the company to expand further by the addition of a further two OBOs together with a number of 159,000dwt Suezmax tankers. The first Suezmax tanker was delivered in 2002 and entered the newly created SKS Tankers Limited pool, taking advantage of market awareness of the SKS brand; three others followed the next year to form the SKS S-Class, as well as two 121,000dwt OBOs, the SKS M-Class, for the SKS OBO Limited pool.

The Suezmax tankers were unusual in that their cargo tanks were coated allowing them to carry clean petroleum products without risk of degradation of the cargo, and when market circumstances dictated this has been a good source of employment for them.

A further four Suezmax tankers were delivered in 2006 / 2007 giving a fleet of eight sister vessels, although two left the pool in 2012 and 2013 after the expiry of sale/charter-back agreements.

Around the time the last four Suezmaxes were being delivered, SKS identified the growing demand for long-haul movements of clean petroleum products so together with Hyundai (who have built all SKS’s vessels) a design was drawn up for a series of large LR2 product tankers. These became known as the D-class and ten of these were delivered during 2010-2012, entering the SKS OBO Limited pool alongside the OBOs. These vessels have a number of unique features to increase their flexibility, in particular the ability to reliably clean the cargo tanks from dirty oil cargoes to clean petroleum products, six segregations and deepwell pumps.

Now in its third decade, the fully integrated group of companies forming SKS continues as a success story. Since 2004 the sole owner has been KGJS, and in 2010 the commercial operation of the two pools was moved from London to Bergen to be located closer to the technical management and other activities. At the same time SKS opened a satellite commercial office in Singapore to be closer to our customers and their issues East of Suez.