Have loaded 28 boats in the Jøssingfjorden

4 July 2023

With a harbor captain, crane operator and two tugboats from FFS, 24-hour continuous loading of ilmenite is carried out over several days from the quay in Jøssingfjorden.

TAC Suzuka Jossingfjord 9

The bulk carrier TAC Suzuka is loaded with ilmenite in February this year. FFS Arion assists.

Text: Sveinung W. Jensen, Tellus Kommunikasjon

- Since the start in spring 2020, we have participated in the loading of a total of 28 boats. This is a permanent assignment that has gradually become very important for us at FFS, says operations manager at FFS, Leif Steinar Simonsen.

Each load takes between four and six days. As "port captain", Simonsen plans the operation and ensures that loading takes place according to plan. The crew opens the hatches, people on the quay manage the loading system and a crane operator from FFS drives the crane on board.

– THE LOADING FACILITY in the Jøssingfjord is fixed. As a result, the boat has to be moved along the way. This is a fairly complex operation that requires a lot of planning, says Simonsen.

Each loading requires the assistance of two tugboats. Which boats are used varies. But during the roughly three years that FFS has managed loading in the Jøssingfjord, the entire tugboat fleet has been in action.

– JØSINGFJORDEN is cramped and the weather conditions can be demanding. Every time a cargo boat over 150 meters comes in, it is classified as a special mission for the pilots. The fact that the loading facility is not mobile makes the operation extra demanding, says Simonsen, who has helped load seven boats this year alone.

- There have been many trips to the Jøssingfjorden so far this year, but the bulk ships arrive at fairly irregular intervals. On average, we are talking about ten loadings of ilmenite a year, says Simonsen.

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.

There are almost without exception different boats that collect the ilmenite. It also contributes to the fact that each loading operation must be planned from scratch.

THE COAL BLACK the ilmenite is transported to China, where it is used as a raw material for the production of snow-white titanium dioxide pigment, which is used to whiten a number of goods - from paint and plastic to paper. Because the product is chemically stable and completely pure, it can also be used for coloring tablets, toothpaste and cosmetics.


Tugboat / 1993


Tugboat / 2014


Tugboat / 1986