Stena takes digital operations to new heights with latest ship naming ceremony

The pomp and ceremony of a ship naming can set owners back six-digit figures. Business class flights to Asia, posh hotels, banquets and of a course a smashed bottle of bubbly, none of which is cheap. Stena Bulk has found a cunning way to cut these costs while also showing off its modern edge.

Earlier this week the Scandinavian owner held a digital naming ceremony for its latest IMOIIMAX tanker, the Stena Immortal.

Some 200 guests gathered at Stena’s new Copenhagen office to attend the naming ceremony and watch godmother Jane Olsson Thorburn digitally swing the bottle of champagne against the tanker’s bows. The guests were also given a guided tour, together with refreshments, of Stena Rederi AS’ newly opened office where Stena Bulk, Stena Line, Stena RoRo and Northern Marine Management will also be represented.

When the Stena Immortal was named, it was not physically present in Copenhagen but in Houston where it is already in service. The vessel’s Danish presence was solved with modern technology and in Houston, a drone filmed and zoomed in when the bottle of champagne hit the tanker’s bows.

“This ship naming ceremony using available technology is a sign of the times. Our goal is greater efficiency in everything we do and, accordingly, a digital naming ceremony symbolises a measure of sustainability, efficiency and new technology. This is what we are striving for and we want to be at the forefront of this process”, commented Erik Hånell, president and CEO of Stena Bulk.

The Stena Immortal is the eighth in a series of 13 ordered at Guangzhou Shipbuilding International in 2012, the last of which will be delivered at the beginning of February this year.

The new office on Tuborg Boulevard in the middle of Copenhagen’s shipping district was opened by the newly formed company Stena Rederi AS, but Stena Bulk, Stena Line, Stena RoRo and Northern Marine Management are also represented here. Stena Bulk, which recently acquired the remaining 50% of a jointly owned company from Danish Weco Shipping, has moved its staff from its previous office in Rungsted to Hellerup.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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