Cargo marathon in Jøssingfjord

30 November 2023

With only a weekend in between, the two boats came into Jøssingfjord to load ilmenite. FFS managed the operation with a harbor captain, and also provided two towboats, three crane operators and two bobcat drivers.

Here the ilmenite is loaded on board the cargo boat. FFS has managed 12 loading operations in Jøssingfjord so far this year.

Text: Sveinung W. Jensen, Tellus Kommunikasjon

- It was hectic. We spent three days loading the first boat, and six days on the second, says Odd Svein Hansen.

This was bulk carrier call number 11 and 12 in Jøssingfjord this year. Up to 36,000 tonnes of ilmenite are loaded on board each time and transported on to customers in Asia.

ILMENITE IS MINING by the company Titania on an open pit at Tellnes in Sokndal in Rogaland. Here is the world's largest deposit of ilmenite with reserves of 400 million tonnes. Titania accounts for ten percent of the world's ilmenite production.

FFS has an agreement with Titania to handle the port operations, including loading and assisting the incoming cargo ships. Odd Svein Hansen and colleague Leif Steinar Simonsen alternate being "Port Captain".

AFTER THE SIMONS was busy with other tasks, this time Hansen had to handle both calls.

- Our job is to plan and manage the operation. The crew opens the hatches and people on the quay manage the loading system. But the crane on board is driven by the crane operator from FFS, says Simonsen, and adds:

- The crane job itself can be a bit challenging, as there are often new boats with different types of cranes that come in.

IT IS DIFFICULT tight in Jøssingfjord. The cargo boats therefore need towboat assistance both to get into the fjord and when they have to turn around.

This time FFS Athos and FFS Atlas were involved.

- These operations provide a lot of work for our tugboats. During loading, we can have up to three turns. To do that turning job, two tugboats are needed, says Simonsen.

HOW LONG the loading itself takes depends on whether it is worked 24 hours a day or 12-hour shifts.

- We depend on daylight to be able to turn the cargo boats around. Therefore, the operation usually goes faster in the summer, says Hansen.

The first cargo ship to arrive this November was the Kurobe, which sails under the flag of Panama. It was built in 2010, is 174.4 meters long, 28 meters wide and has a capacity of 30,166 deadweight tonnes.

THE OTHER, Banglar Arjan, is five years old and sails under the Bangladeshi flag. The boat is 180 meters long, 32.1 meters wide and can carry up to 38,800 deadweight tonnes.

- During both loadings, we received port state control. So there was a little extra to look out for, says Hansen.

Port state inspections are carried out by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate and are an inspection of foreign ships in Norwegian ports.

The point is to verify that the ship's condition and equipment are in accordance with international regulations, and that the ship is manned and operated in accordance with these regulations.


Tugboat / 2014


Tugboat / 1986