December 22, 2023ESGGeneral Business News

EMT Reflections: A Look Back at 2023 and Setting the Stage for 2024

From optimizing our fleet synergies and welcoming new additions to the fleet, to partnering with an artificial intelligence company, to pursuing a dual listing in the US and many more initiatives that mark the energy transition journey – it has been a busy year all around for Hafnia.

With 2023 coming to an end, we are pleased to share some perspectives and reflections of the year passed and year ahead from three members of Hafnia’s Executive Management.


  1. From your point of view, what were some defining moments for Hafnia in 2023 and how did they shape the company’s vision and direction moving forward?


Perry Van Echtelt, CFO

It’s difficult to pinpoint one defining moment, with Hafnia continuing to be on a fast-paced growth journey – which comes with many proud moments.

If I had to choose a few… we have continued to follow-through on our capital structure strategy by simultaneously reducing our overall debt and increasing cash distributions to our shareholders through a pay-out ratio that increased from 50% to 70%. Another is definitely the formation of the Ecomar joint venture (Socatra) and ordering four Methanol dual fuel MR vessels on longer contracts. This, together with the three out of four LNG newbuild deliveries, underlined key moments in Hafnia’s strategy to build a fleet for, and of, the future.

Next to that we are continuing on our journey to digitalize our processes. 2023 has taught us that there is a clear link between artificial intelligence and repetitive tasks within our overall operations – and that it is certainly here to help us as a tool to contribute to the more efficient use of the workforce. At the end of 2023, we officialized an agreement with Simbolo to establish an AI start-up, aimed at promoting “Stevie AI”. which aids in data analysis from sources like emails and chats. More to come on this in the new year!


  1. 2023 was a year of growth and transformation for Hafnia. What were some of the key strategies and initiatives that contributed to the company’s success?


Jens Christophersen, EVP, Commercial and Operations

Our people form the core of our success. They define what Hafnia is today and, at the same time, are creating the Hafnia of the future. Our strategy of continuous growth and our growth mindset have strategically positioned us. Growing our business in a historically high market without considerably increasing our downside is very difficult, but we have done well by holding on to our existing vessels, and we have bought 3 IMO2 MRs and One IMO2 LR1 at what we consider to be attractive pricing. We have grown our bunker business, and while our pooling business has been reduced, like most tanker pools across the industry, we have not lost any pool partners to other pools. In fact, we have held on to our pool volumes better than our pool competitors.


  1. In what ways did Hafnia’s values and corporate culture play a role in the company’s

achievements in 2023, and how will they continue to drive the organization forward?


Ralph Juhl, EVP, Technical Director

As a forward-thinking tanker shipping company, we are constantly seeking ways to future proof our business and our market leadership. In our aim to optimize shareholder value we have to create an environment where diverse people can thrive so that ideas for innovation and operational efficiency can thrive.

In 2023, an example I am very proud of is our collaboration with DNV to launch Emissions Connect – a single source of verified emissions data enabling accurate monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Through 2022 and 2023, our onshore and at sea teams have been working hard to deliver the first of our three dual fuel LNG vessels safely and efficiently. This has been a true example of seamless collaboration between sea and shore and site team.

We are also continuing our efforts in our pledge to the team working on our ships today, and the people of the maritime future, a future that requires a new type of skillset and qualification to meet the needs of the future technologies, including the green and digital transformation.

In 2023, we officially announced our Hafnia Culture Lab project where four of our ships are crewed with at least 50 percent women. This helps us to increase our sourcing channels and learn more about what it takes to make a career at sea more attractive for women. This not only takes culture onboard into consideration, but also the infrastructure of our ships and our relationships with maritime officials.

Another initiative is the complete installation of the Starlink satellite system across our entire fleet by the end of 2023. Starlink’s innovative technology sets out to improve connectivity across various industries, including maritime, with its lightning-fast internet connectivity (over 200 Mbps). This will transform the at sea experience for our seafaring teams, as for the first time our crews will be able to consistently connect with their loved ones back home. We also launched Project Hologram – an initiative aimed at improving connection between seafarer families and loved ones, which has been piloted with remarkable success, even the means used where very primitive compared to the intention. The intended Project Hologram is a very futuristic project, but we hope that one day it will enable seafarers to spend quality time with their loved ones remotely, bridging the gap between life at sea and life on land.


  1. As you look back on the year, what were some initiatives aboard the vessels that helped Hafnia further its commitment to sustainability?


Ralph Juhl, EVP, Technical Director

It’s difficult to narrow down an answer here given how much effort we continuously put into enhancing the sustainability of our vessel operations and in meeting the IMO’s targets ahead of time.

Some initiatives, to name a few – we have worked on developing a third module to Emission Connect that covers the use and handling of Biofuel in relation to EU fit for 55. We continue to optimize the vessels fuel and environmental performance capabilities by installing Energo Flow, Mewis ducts, boss cap fins etc. whenever it is possible, we also continue to midterm dock vessels with poor antifouling to increase their effectivity. Further, we have also worked on finalizing ballast water treatment systems throughout our fleet, as well as a future accommodation standard to make life at sea more comfortable for our seafarers.

Streamlining processes and procedures has also been a point of emphasis this year and continuing into the future. We have digitized our Noon report and logbooks, introduced Digital Deck and Engine Logbooks using the Green Logs system, implemented SteelCorr an AI run digital paint diagnostic tool, and enhanced Project Hologram for ships using Virtual Reality Headsets.

With regard to overall vessel lifetime, we carried out dry-docking and life extensions of 20 vessels. On top of all this, we are preparing, and rolling out an ambitious Leadership Program for our seafarers in 2024 that emphasizes a commitment to corporate culture standards.


  1. Looking ahead to 2024, what can we expect from Hafnia and are there any key insights from 2023 to bring forward?


Jens Christophersen, EVP, Commercial and Operations

A key insight from 2023 is that anyone can make good money in a high market, the challenge is to stay on top the game relative to our peers. We have done well, but we should strive to continuously improve ourselves to maintain our leading position. Living our CARE values and helping each other succeed as a Team will be key for Hafnia, also in 2024.


Perry Van Echtelt, CFO

The US dual listing process that we are working on and announced in November is of course an exciting process and important step towards accessing a deeper pool of investors. Next to that, we will further work on our capital structure, paying dividends to our shareholders while working on our deleveraging and bringing down our cash flows break-even per day across the fleet. This is on top of what we expect will remain a very strong market for product tankers.

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