GEFO chemical tanker Tosca is a certified industry pioneer


GEFO’s LNG dual fuel tanker Tosca is the first chemical tanker in the maritime industry to be awarded the Green Award CO2 label, setting a new benchmark for environmental performance and responsibility.

The certification underlines GEFO’s commitment to sustainability and means that the vessel is eligible for financial incentives for sustainable ships in ports worldwide.

“This external validation emphasises the pioneering role of our fleet in developing commercially viable solutions as regulators catch up,” says Sven von Appen, CEO of the GEFO Shipping Group. “Differentiation as a pioneer will be critical as the energy transition in the industry continues.

With a fleet of 150 vessels (both inland and ocean-going), of which 92 are Green Award certified, GEFO has made significant investments in emission-reducing technologies, and Tosca’s CO2 label is an important milestone in the company’s sustainability efforts. As the Tosca is largely powered by LNG, the ship consistently achieves significantly lower carbon emissions.

This achievement not only places Tosca at the forefront of the specialty chemical tanker segment but also cements Tosca’s status as a trailblazer,” says Sven von Appen. “The vessel was also the first chemical tanker in the 7,000 dwt range to run on LNG.

Tosca’s Green Award certification and Green Award CO2 label promises to drive further incentives and support for voluntary impact industry wide,” adds Jan Fransen, Executive Director at Green Award Foundation adding that all 18 deep sea vessels in the GEFO fleet have Green Award certification.

I confidently predict that where Tosca has led, others in the speciality chemical tanker segment and beyond, will follow.

GEFO’s other projects involve the use of green fuels such as green methanol, ammonia or hydrogen for alternative propulsion systems of inland barges or deep-sea vessels and the role of a logistics service provider to transport these new alternative energy sources within the whole European inland barging and shortsea region.

The quest for saving fossil fuels poses huge challenges for chemical tanker operators on short sea trades. One step beyond switching to alternative fuels, is installing aids to mechanical propulsion. GEFO is close to installing a Flettner Rotor on one of its larger deep-sea vessels. This will provide extra thrust and could reduce traditional fossil fuel consumption by up to 15%.


Founded in 1961, the German shipping company GEFO, originally called Gesellschaft für Oeltransporte, operates a fleet of 150 specialised tankers, half of which are owned and half chartered, for the transport of chemicals, mineral oil and gas. GEFO recently invested 400 million euros in 26 newbuildings and 13 modern second-hand vessels, including double-hull and stainless steel tankers that comply with the latest safety and environmental regulations. The company is also working on the development of carbon capture and storage and has presented plans for a hydrogen propulsion system for its first zero-emission cargo ship.

Their goal is to have a carbon-neutral fleet by 2045 by gradually replacing conventional fuels with alternative fuels. Since the last deliveries of newbuildings, GEFO now has the youngest specialised tanker fleet in Europe with an average age of 7 years for ocean-going vessels and 13 years for inland vessels. To further strengthen the future deep-sea fleet, GEFO officially ordered another series of 10 stainless steel tankers at the beginning of 2024, entering the EU chemical short sea trade from 2026 onwards.


Tosca is a three-year-old chemical tanker with a deadweight tonnage of 7,200 tonnes and a total cargo capacity of 8,000 cubic metres. Built in September 2021 at the China Merchant Jinling Shipyard, the vessel has an overall length of 109.6 metres, a width of 18.4 metres and a maximum draught of 7.2 metres. It is powered by a 3,000 kW MAK 6M34DF dual-fuel diesel engine that can run on both LNG and marine diesel. The loading system consists of 16 completely separate stainless steel tanks. The vessel has ice class 1A and is equipped for ice navigation. The technical management is carried out by GEFO Gesellschaft für Oeltransporte mbH in Hamburg and the commercial management by Tosca Tanker GMBH & CO KG.

ABOUT Green Award Foundation

For over 30 years, Green Award Foundation has been dedicated to promoting sustainable and safe shipping. It works with seagoing ship operators, inland navigation operators, ports, governments, suppliers and service providers on a non-profit basis. Green Award’s programme includes standard setting, audit/inspections, certification and rewards. Over 195 parties provide financial incentives / discounts to ships with a Green Award certificate. The Foundation started in 1994 for seagoing vessels and in 2011 opened to inland shipping. The organisation is governed by an independent board of respected industry professionals. Its operations align with 13 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and support Environmental, Societal and Governance policies on around 60 shipping related topics globally.

In addition to its global certification program covering environmental, safety, and quality management facets of ship operations, Green Award has extensive expertise specifically in sustainable ship waste handling having integrated these concerns from the outset of its founding. The organisation worked closely with the EU Commission over 2020-2021 providing extensive input during development of the new EU regulatory framework mandating waste fee discounts for sustainable ships under Directive 2019/883 and its 2022 implementing act defining required criteria.

Given alignment of Green Award’s existing certification criteria with stipulations in EU Regulation 2022/91, as well as decades of experience incentivising and verifying responsible ship waste management practices, Green Award was approved as an authorised independent auditor for ports needing to identify and report qualifying ships under the new EU waste discount schemes entering into force for 2024.

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