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Dan Sten Olsson - October 2020


Everything has changed or is about to change with the Corona virus. It is more true this time than many times before.

At Stena we can be proud of  fast and decisive crisis handling in all sectors but specifically in our ferries and offshore drilling sectors.

It is impressive how we have been able to cut costs versus, what we thought was lean before.

We have been well-served by being a diversified group across a few industries during this crisis. Financially it would have been very difficult to survive, if we had only had one leg to support ourselves. It is not about being in all the “right” sectors – but aiming to be the best in the sectors, we are active in.

Speed of digitalization has accelerated. Thank God we are so active in this field. Now we need to speed up our efforts to develop digitalization even more.

This will certainly mean change to our business models. Gauging risks is important in doing this. What ambition levels are needed for us now and in the future?

Working from home has served us amazingly well. Never-theless innovation is taking a negative hit. Planned work is doing fine, but ideas coming by chance are fewer, when people do not chat at random with each other. New ways of working with a mixture of being at the office and at home could attract new talents to enroll with different Stena teams. This could sharpen our communication and capacities in the long term.

– Being ready for anything was one of our ambitions for this year. When the danger was clearly written on the wall, we were quite fast to define what could happen and act. Nevertheless we did not have an early warning system and no ready made plans. Should we not have that? Another challenge is:

– How to understand the reality of the big long term gradual shifts that are taking place right now and how to accommodate to them. 

I am thinking of sustainability issues, future fuels and energy saving. Other issues: As automation and digitalization keep on running, we as employees need to educate our cognitive skills even more. Social and emotional skills continue to be even more in demand. Technological skills and understanding thereof will drive development of society substantially more regardless of our liking or not.  

Unemployment rate will probably hit 12% in many countries before the end of this year. It will hit young people in particular.

Having spent twenty weeks isolated with my wife in our summer house I have had the opportunity though to learn 

  • How much we shall be happy about. 
  • How important it is to have the right values and priorities. 
  • The importance of understanding the difference between need and want.

Family relationships are now strengthened for many, but unfortunately more strained for others.

At Stena Property we have therefore this year employed 360 young people during the past summer to help us maintaining our premises and perform other jobs related to serving our tenants. Subcontractors  performing maintenance and new construction have also been obliged to employ people living in our premises.

Trust is the most important asset for a progressive society. There has been a calm summer in most of our residential areas. It has not been quiet though. A lot of positive joint outdoor activities have taken place launched both by our tenants and employees creating bonds for now and the future.

As the Covid 19 virus does not seem to disappear social resurgence in the form of new habits after social distancing will be demanding and important.

Social responsibility will demand more care and new perspectives.

Thanks to governmental interference, society in general and Stena in particular are surviving. To be critical of government is important. To be humble to the tasks of government and our institutions remains a must.

To say the future is exciting needs a lot of courage. Never-theless Stena as a company and we as people are used to being courageous. 

So in short
Let us continue to deserve our place among contributing people and organizations. 


Dan Sten Olsson

Gothenburg 26 September 2020



Who could have believed that an organism smaller than 200 nanometers in diameter could turn the whole world upside down in less than a couple of months?

In the late eighties, I read The Stand, by Stephen King. It starts with a car pulling into a gas station. In the car is a man and his family, all of whom are infected by a deadly virus. Things go fast after that, and soon large swaths of humanity have succumbed to a flu worse than any other flu. 

Reading King’s book, I was naturally startled by the idea that a virus, incurable and fast spreading, could take the lives of so many people. It was a piece of fiction and a completely different kind of virus, but I wasn’t alone in getting the same feeling when the news of covid-19 began to spread across the globe. Highly infectious, highly fatal and no cure. Were we on the way to seeing The stand become a reality? 

In the beginning, no one knew, how hard the pandemic would hit us, and fear of the virus was about to get as bad as the virus itself. Many rumors were circulating and there were few facts. Should we shut down altogether, or were there other ways to deal with the pandemic? 

In Stena AB’s crisis team, we have dealt with various kinds of crises, but never anything even reminiscent of covid-19. A lot was new and we had to rely on the only thing that really works in crisis situations. Keeping a cool head, focusing on structure and processes, while at the same time, constantly analyzing the situation and working with the few facts that could be obtained. 

Thankfully, covid-19 has turned out to be no new Captain Trips, as the virus in King’s story was called. But covid-19 was bad enough and remains a tangible threat. More than thirty million people have been infected and over one million have died as a result of the virus. 

Crises are typically events that occur relatively seldom, are comparatively short-lasting – although during the course of the crisis they may be experienced as lasting an eternity – and they keep to one area. Covid-19 is a crisis in several guises. The crisis as it relates purely to health hazards is simpler to understand than the psychological crisis that has followed in the wake of the virus. Covid-19 has even sparked a new fear – the fear of going back to work. 

Magnus Carling

At the same time, the financial crisis that followed has left millions of people unemployed and it is difficult to grasp the effects of unemployment.

At Stena, we’ve seen relatively few cases. We have proactive leaders who have followed and implemented the recommendations, and we have all done our best to avoid spreading the disease. We all have to continue doing this until the pandemic is over.

Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that the pandemic is going to end. The world may be permanently changed in many ways, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to hold out, keep being pragmatic and finding solutions to challenges while following the recommendations on how to deal with covid-19.

Magnus Carling

CISO, Stena AB



In the middle of the ongoing pandemic, ferry company Stena Line started the construction of their two new longer E-Flexer ferries in China as well as started the lengthening of Stena Lagan in Turkey. Both projects shows how Stena Line invests long-term in modernising its large European fleet of ferries. Stena Line has not yet revealed the names or the routes.

In April and May, during the worst part of the ongoing pandemic, Stena Line started the construction of a further two new longer E-Flexer ferries. The vessels are planned to be delivered in 2022 from the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard in China. They are the last of five vessels of the E-Flexer series that Stena Line designed and built in collaboration with Stena RoRo.

“Despite a tough time during the covid-19 pandemic, we have shown how important Stena Line is to linking Europe’s freight and passenger transport and vital supply lines. We believe in continued growth and demand in all our markets and with the new ferries in place we will be well equipped for the future” says Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

Of the first three vessels, the first two: Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, have already entered service on the Irish Sea earlier this year. The third vessel, Stena Embla, is in the final stages of construction and is expected to be delivered in November and go in to service on the Belfast-Liverpool route according to plan in early 2021.

The two larger E-Flexer vessels will be 240 meters long with a load capacity of 3,600 length meters, compared to the first three which are 214 meters long and have a load capacity of 3,100 length meters. In total, the larger vessels also get 50 % more cabins and beds, 30% increased passenger capacity and an additional 15% cargo capacity. The two vessels will be equipped with shore power connections to reduce emissions and the connection also enables a conversion to electric hybrid ferry in the future.

“We continue to build on our successful RoPax concept with a mix of freight and passengers. By modernizing and standardizing our vessel fleet, we ensure a reliable operation can in an even better way support and grow with our customers”, says Niclas Mårtensson.


The last six months have been incredibly tough. Covid-19 hit us hard in March and we have been forced to take many drastic and tough decisions along the way in order to protect the future of Stena Line. We have been sailing with the majority of the fleet through the whole pandemic kept the vital supply lines in Europe open. That makes me proud. Our first priority has been the safety of our passengers and employees. 

Already in January we saw signs of the pandemic in China where we build our new vessels but we didn’t realise at that time just how much it would affect us. In February we launched the first set of safety measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus onboard our vessels, in our terminals and offices.

In mid-March we saw a sharp decline in passenger and freight volumes when countries started to lock down and imposed travel restrictions. Since then Corona has been part of the business in many ways. We have kept sailing and implemented a cost saving programme including laying up vessels, close down two routes and unfortunately also made around 1,300 employees redundant around the company.  

During the summer the freight volumes have picked up again and countries have opened up more. But we are still struggling and our vessels are sailing with very limited number of passengers, which is of course not the way we want it during our summer peak season.


The uncertainty. When will the pandemic end and will it end? Travel restrictions, quarantine rules and other safety measures have been different in many countries and changing all the time. But the hardest part has been decisions that affects peoples work and life. I am proud of all our employees and the way they have been handling this challenging situation.


We believe the worst is now behind us even though the future is uncertain. Passenger volumes will remain low for a long period and we are adapting to that from manning and cost perspective but also by changing our offer to become more of a transport product rather than cruise going forward.

We will continue to deliver on our vision, “Connecting Europe for a Sustainable Future” and continue to be an important part of the European logistics network and societies. With the aim to return to profit we will continue to deliver great travel experiences and a safe journey to all our passengers and freight customers.

E-FLEXERSThe construction of the two larger vessels (3D models in picture) began with steel cutting ceremonies on April 2 and May 29 at the yard in Weihai, China. Keel laying is planned for mid-October 2020 and delivery during 2022.
UNIQE LENGTHENING PROJECT OF STENA LAGAN AND STENA MERSEYIn addition to the five new builds another two existing vessels in the fleet, Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, will be extended by 36 metres and modified with efficient drive-through capabilities for loading and unloading in two levels. In total the modifications will increase the cargo capacity by 30% and add on a total of 75 cabins. The two vessels are expected to be back in traffic in Stena Line's network in 2021.

A pioneering project that provides greater load capacity and environmental improvements


The sister ships Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey are being rebuilt by Stena RoRo at the Sedef shipyard in Turkey. The method used to increase the capacity of the vessels is extreme. In addition, the technology and interiors are being upgraded to the benefit of the customer, passengers and the environment.

Ship conversion is Stena RoRo’s specialty. The company has been commissioned by Stena Line to upgrade the two Visentini-built RoPax vessels Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, which have been in service on the Irish Sea for quite some time. The renovations are extensive and being carried out at the Turkish shipyard Sedef in Tuzla outside Istanbul. The vessels are divided in the middle and extended with a 36-meter-long middle section.

“The project is both complicated and interesting, and we are very proud to be a part of this and of what we have achieved so far,” says Mikael Abrahamsson, in charge of the conversions at Stena RoRo and responsible for the 10-person team on site in Tuzla. 

By extending the vessels by 36 meters, freight capacity increases by about 30 percent. 

“For the yard, this is a challenge in terms of time, complexity and scope, but they are very ambitious and certainly up to the task, and we are very satisfied with collaboration.” 

Following the conversion, the two RoPax vessels will be 222 meters long, with 200 cabins and capacity for 970 passengers, have a cargo deck of 2,875 length meters and space for 277 cars. 

The Stena Lagan will be ready for delivery in mid-January 2021. The Stena Mersey will be delivered later in 2021.

“Extending ships is a good and cost-effective way of quickly increasing capacity,” says Per Westling, president of Stena RoRo. “The ships will be both larger and significantly upgraded through this partially pioneering project. We are pleased to contribute to creating good value for the customer, as well as providing positive experiences for passengers and reduced environmental impact.”

Mikael Abrahamsson, in charge of the conversions at Stena RoRo.

BY EXTENDING THE VESSELS BY 36 METERS, FREIGHT CAPACITY INCREASES BY ABOUT 30 PERCENT. THE CONVERSION ALSO ENTAILS • 80 new cabins • Increased passenger car capacity with 100 cars • New bow section with bow doors and ramp • Straight drive-through on two levels • New internal ramps • Installation of exhaust gas cleaning, so-called hybrid scrubbers • Flap rudders for better maneuverability • Three bow thrusters (compared to the previous two) • New purification system for ballast water
THE PASSENGER SPACES GET AN UPDATED STENA LINE DESIGN WITH AMONG OTHER THINGS • New shop • New lounges with reclining chairs • New sun deck



Covid-19 struck the world with vigor in the spring of 2020. Many of us have had to adapt to this and think along new lines. We asked Stena Property's CEO Cecilia Fasth to look back on the last six months and tell us how the pandemic has affected the company.


“When the first alarms came at the beginning of the year, the information was scanty and the guidelines few, ” says Cecilia Fasth, CEO at, Stena Property. “We discussed at the time, how we should deal with the pandemic if any of our customers or our staff were to contract the disease, and how we could best prevent the spread of covid-19. Rather soon, guidelines were issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden that the country’s residents and businesses were to observe. Considerable responsibility was placed on the individual, such as staying home if we were feeling sick. In addition, the Public Health Agency recommended that those who could work from home should do so. At Stena Property, our office staff has worked partly at home, partly at the office. We have also separated staff into different groups to minimize any possible spread between coworkers.”

“Covid-19 also entails that many of the people in our 26,000 apartments have worked from home. Which has meant more people in the apartments and yards than before covid-19. Our custodial staff and administrators have therefore continued working on-site in our residential areas. However, to protect both our staff and our tenants, we have introduced new guidelines on how service visits to apartments are to be conducted. For example, we do not shake hands, we do not visit customers who have symptoms and we have delayed visits that are not of  an emergency nature.”


“Although the majority of our business is residential, we also have commercial tenants renting office and retail properties. We noticed very early in the pandemic that some of our commercial tenants, such as restaurant owners, were losing many customers and could not afford to pay their rent. Together with the Swedish state, we went in and helped these tenants by way of rent reductions during the first difficult time. This entails that the company has lost revenue, but at the same time it has been important for us at Stena Property to be able to step in and support our tenants. We hope that in the long-term, they can stay in business, which is positive both for them and for us”. 

“Most of our other tenants rent apartment from us. There we cannot yet see that covid-19 has affected the ability to pay in the same way as for our commercial tenants. It is also nice to see that sales of our newly produced condominiums in Stockholm have gone very well, despite the ongoing pandemic. So considering the situation, things have been going well for us at Stena Property.”

Cecilia Fasth


“Besides quickly adapting to working more at home, we can see that the digital maturity among our employees has improved. We had already begun a transition to new digital systems such as Office 365 and the use of apps such as Teams, but we see that the pandemic has accelerated the transition, simply because we have been forced to work more remotely.”

“We have also made major progress in tenant communication, including digitizing our contract signing with new customers – both for renting apartments and in the sale of condominiums. It’s clear that the entire society is more favorable to change and open to new ways of doing things. We can use this as an opportunity both to further develop interaction with our tenants and to improve our business operations.”


“The home has never been more important than now and safety in the neighborhoods is our most important priority. When many other organizations that can usually offer summer jobs to young people, such as municipalities and restaurants, were unable to hire this summer, we saw that we could make a big difference. That’s why we made the decision to hire more summer workers than ever before in our residential areas. Nearly 360 young people worked with us this year, compared to about 300 last year. We should keep in mind that in day-to-day operations, our employee total at Stena Property is about 320.”

“We also saw that many organizations had to cut back on summer activities for young people because of the pandemic. So we mustered our forces to engage in local activities, tailored to the current situation, in our residential areas. All our employees, from custodial staff to economists, engaged in various types of activities in the neighborhoods. Which produced very nice results. We have had a calm and pleasant summer in our residential areas and received good feedback from our tenants and coworkers.”

FACTSStena Property has approximately 26,000 rental apartments, and about 1,250 commercial properties in Sweden.



Since its inception just over a year ago, Stena Glovis has already become one of the leading players in Europe when it comes to scheduled service in transoceanic and wheeled cargo operations. Despite the ongoing the Corona pandemic, Stena Glovis is now up to 15 departures monthly.

Stena Glovis, owned in equal parts by Stena and the Korean mega-company Hyundai Glovis, is a true success story. 

“This platform for industrial cargo in scheduled service with new, large, heavy industrial customers is something quite unique and something we haven’t had at Stena before,” Says Hans Nilsson, CEO for Stena Glovis. “We are well on our way to becoming the market leader in Europe and, if you talk individual companies, we are probably already the biggest.”

Hyundai Motors is the world’s third-largest automaker, with extensive exports to Europe. In the group’s own transport and logistics company Hyundai Glovis, there are approximately 100 vehicle transport vessels for intercontinental transport of RoRo cargo and automobiles. When the company previously shipped wheeled cargo from Asia to Europe, there had been surplus capacity on the way back. This tonnage now forms the basis of the platform being built by Stena Glovis, with transoceanic cargo from Europe to Asia, Africa and North America that Stena Glovis.

“We saw a dip in April because of corona, but now the numbers are even better than before, much because of positioning ourselves so strongly with Asia and China,” says Hans Nilsson. “That is where demand is at its very strongest and we currently have ten departures a month to China. No one else is anywhere near the number of ships we can provide, and that makes us an attractive supplier.”

The ships can take up to 8,000 cars but are usually loaded with a combination of cars and other wheeled cargo. Loading in Europe is mainly in Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Southampton and Hamburg. The route can then go via the Suez Canal and the Middle East, sometimes with an additional detour up into the Arabian Gulf and on to South Korea via India, Singapore and China. A voyage takes about 30-45 days one way, depending on the number of stops. 

“In addition to this, we have service with two ships from Europe to South Africa via West Africa, as well as three ships to the United States, calling at ports on both the east and west coasts and Mexico,” Hans Nilsson says.

Hans Nilsson and his team in Hamburg.

Next year will be a big tendering year, with ample opportunity to win new business, when both BMW and Mercedes open up for procurement on all their routes.

“The goal is to be able to dramatically grow in the deep-sea sector,” Hans Nilsson explains. “Last year we took the Volkswagen contract with 240,000 units a year, which is the biggest auto contract out of Europe.”

The next step will be to expand collaboration with Stena Line and provide customers with access to Europe’s largest ferry network.

“In the longer term, we may start our own short-sea service if we assess it as profitable,” says Hans Nilsson. “Land transport is another possible complement. But even now, no one can offer the same kind of comprehensive solutions there as us.”

Another thing he would like to point out is the close and successful collaboration created between the two companies from different cultures.

“It’s incredibly exciting and stimulating to work in this environment now that we’ve got everything in place,” says Hans Nilsson. “Both owners have really invested in this and the results have been extremely good.”

OPERATIONSTransoceanic service or rolling cargo from Europe to Asia, North America and Africa. Currently 15 departures a month.
OWNERSJoint venture between Stena and Hyundai Glovis
OFFICESHead office in Hamburg and sales office in Bremen.



Pia Ålander receives me at her horse ranch outside Fjärås on one of the last sunny days of summer. Pia has been living here for nearly three months.

“I’ve had a ranch before, but my last residence was an apartment and it just didn’t feel right. I missed the freedom and closeness to nature. I’ve now finally found a place that suits me and my horses,” Pia says.

Pia began riding at the age of seven, but Icelandic horses came into the picture only after Pia turned 40. She now has four Icelandic horses on her ranch, two of which are hers and two are her daughter’s.


Once Pia went to riding school with Icelandic horses and started trail riding, she was hooked.

“I liked it so much that I eventually started booking up the whole group for trail riding and invited my friends. A friend bought a horse and I helped her with it when she was out of town, and the craving for a horse of my own began to grow. No sooner said than done. One rainy summer, I bought my first horse, Sokki frá Thórormstungu, who is now 28.”

“You could say that Icelandic horses are like peanuts; you want more and more! They’re cool and collected and they rarely make a big deal out of anything. Their extra gait, rack and amble give riding an extra dimension. And you don’t need that much equipment, which makes things simple and unpretentious. You can just ride out into the countryside, which I like.”

Horses in the wild spend about 18 hours a day looking for food. This is difficult to replicate when the horses are in fenced paddocks, which means that Pia must be conscientious when it comes to feeding, which needs to be done four times a day. 

“I feed the horses every morning and evening, but during the day when I’m at work I have two paddocks of timer-equipped gates that open when it’s time for feeding. This way I never have to feel any stress – I know that the horses go into the paddock and eat when the gate opens,” Pia says.


An Icelandic horse feels at its best if exercised five times a week. For Pia’s part, this means she rides regularly. 

About once a month, Pia loads a horse in a trailer and rides at other locations. Sometimes it becomes a private lesson for some trainer that she wants to ride for.

“Taking a ride isn’t much of a bother or demanding from a purely exercise standpoint. However, it’s much more difficult to train a horse. Horses are different, some are more demanding than others. Now that it’s autumn and the hunting season is underway, I’m exercising the horses here at home in the paddock to avoid being out in the dark forest,” Pia says.

But having a horse ranch is not just beautiful views and rides in the countryside. Having a ranch involves hard work.

“My day starts at six with feeding. I then let the horses out and leave for work. When I get home, the horses and cats need food, the stalls have to be cleaned, water troughs washed out and refilled with fresh water, both in the stables and out in the paddock. If I have the energy, I usually take a round with the wheelbarrow in the paddock and clean up there, too, this to avoid parasites and thus deworming. One or two horses also need to be exercised, about 30–40 minutes each. On the weekends they’re exercised about an hour and a half each. Besides the daily routines, the paddocks have to be kept clear with a brush-cutter and posts sometimes need to be changed. Just now, 80 posts are waiting to get put into the ground. You feel the fatigue when it’s time to go to bed in the evening,” Pia says.


“Sure, there’s a lot of work here. Just mowing the lawn means taking 25,000 steps, so indoors there won’t be any major projects,” Pia says with a smile. “But the combination of meeting my colleagues at work, being part of a team where contributing to something makes sense and then coming home to the ranch makes for less stress. Here on the ranch, I can leave behind all thoughts of work and my stress factor really drops. The ranch and horses really help me to always stay focused when I’m at work.”

NAMEPia Ålander
TITLECoordinator, Stena Group IT
FAMILYLeft-the-nest, adult daughter
Pia has been to Iceland three times and participated in an equine fundraiser. Droving involves heading out to the mountains on horseback to gather the hundreds of horses that have grazed freely on the mountain sides throughout the summer.


The Icelandic horse is a purebred horse and originated in Iceland, where they had been around for more than 1,200 years. If they have once left Iceland, they will not be allowed to return. This is due to the risk of infectious diseases. They are known for their gaits, rack and amble, in addition to their walk, trot and gallop.

  • An Icelandic horse in Sweden eats about 1.5 tons of hay each year. The feed is supple-mented with various nutrients differing from horse to horse. 
  • The Icelandic horse thrives best when it’s cool outside and a little windy. 


  • Look for stables that offers riding schools, riding lessons and trial rides on Icelandic horses.  
  • If you buy your own horse, you can board it at a stable, with you helping with care and feeding. Full-board entails someone else handling care and you can come and ride whenever you want and can. (Note. Varies from country to country).


A Virtual Reality training simulator created by Aurora Digital Solutions (a Northern Marine Group company), is aiming to better equip seafarers to execute one of the most hazardous vessel operations in the industry.

The thirty minute, fully immersive Mooring Operations Safety simulator teaches users a range of seafaring duties related to mooring, such as equipment checks, inspections, main-tenance and physical operational processes, as well as vital situational awareness training covering snapback zones, bights and pinch points.

The Company created the syllabus of micro-modules in partnership with the Merchant Navy Training Board and the Maritime Educational Foundation, following analysis of incident statistics and consultation with experienced crew and onshore maritime specialists via its parent company Northern Marine Group. 

Jamie Roberts, Digital Innovation Manager, Aurora Digital Solutions, said: “By leveraging the immersive power of Virtual Reality, we can now provide the trainee with the situational awareness and in-depth understanding of what operational best practice related to mooring operations will feel and look like well before they step onboard. 

“Having developed the VR training package in consultation with experienced crew we were able to create an increased level of authenticity and an opportunity for users to witness the serious consequences caused by human error or equipment failure.”

Jamie added: “With the support of the MNTB and Maritime Educational Foundation, we are now in a position to take this to industry to demonstrate a strong case for the use of the technology. We plan to also share the simulator with UK nautical colleges, so they can build this training into their existing curriculum.”

Kathryn Neilson, Director, Merchant Navy Training Board, added: “With the MNTB’s drive to enhance seafarer skills and competency levels, the MNTB has watched the development of Aurora Digital Solutions’ Mooring Simulator programme with great interest.  

“We were delighted when the Maritime Educational Foundation agreed to offer financial support to the project, enabling the concept to become a reality.  The programme is a perfect example of what can be achieved using VR technology in training and I am looking forward to seeing further projects come to fruition.

“We have the ability to deliver training using VR technology, now we need to implement it.  Results have proven that training through this medium enhances performance and that, topped with the ability to perform operations in a controlled and safe environment, is a key factor in the development of this type of technology for seafarer training.”

The Simulator has already received critical industry acclaim. At the time of writing (early September), it had been shortlisted for a Safety4Sea Technology Award.

Northern Marine’s ship owner clients have already been benefitting from the Company’s utilization and development of Virtual Reality technology via its Marine Engineering service offering.  

Aurora Digital Solutions are also exploring opportunities to utilize Virtual and Augmented Reality to enhance safety and operations in other sectors out-with Maritime.

For more information on Aurora Digital Solutions
Click here!


Concordia Maritime is looking ahead


The effects of this spring's extensive stockpile of oil will affect the tanker market for the rest of the year. But as the effects fade, there is reason to believe that there will be an increasing demand for tanker transports in line with an increasing consumption of oil. In combination with record-low growth rate in the global tanker fleet, this is expected to lead to a gradually stronger market in 2021.

Concordia Maritime is forecasting a weak autumn followed by a strong market in 2021. For more information on this, see Market Update 2020-09-11 at Concordia Maritime’s website.

Following a bottom quotation in April, oil consumption has recently steadily increased and relatively sharply. Forecasts indicate that the increase will continue and return to pre-covid-19 levels in the spring/summer of 2021. 

At the same time, growth in the fleet is record low, and the orders for the construction of new tankers are at their lowest in more than 25 years.

“It is our assessment that increased consumption of oil, normalized stock levels and record-low net growth in the fleet will combine to create strong demand in the tanker market,” says Kim Ullman, president of Concordia Maritime. “That forecast applies provided that there is not a large second wave of virus spread with new extensive shutdowns.”




The tanker shipping company Concordia Maritime has been high on the list for a long time with the best annual reports among the stock exchange's smaller companies, and has also won the small company class on a couple of previous occasions.

Behind the prize being now awarded for the 55th year in a row is FAR – a trade association in accounting, auditing and consulting, Nasdaq Stockholm, the Swedish Society of Financial Analysts and the Swedish Association of Communication Professionals. The aim is to honor companies that communicate financial information transparently, reliably and honestly. In this year’s competition, 310 Swedish corporations on Nasdaq Stockholm have been assessed.


One of the main strengths is the simplicity and good pedagogy that consistently characterizes the annual report. The annual report covers about 100 pages, which these days must be considered as a relatively limited scope. In a world where increasingly extensive legal requirements lead to bloated annual reports, Concordia Maritime manages to fully and interestingly describe all aspects of its business. We give extra praise to the company – despite the annual report being published as early as 20 March – for having had a relative abundance of information on how the corona virus is expected to affect operations.

“If you like what you do, you often do it well”

Says Kim Ullman, President, Concordia Maritime.




Navigating a rapidly changing, complex and uncertain world requires a special type of leadership. The course The Unknown Unknown, which is part of Stena's leadership program Ready 4 Anything, is about creating a platform and approach that allows us to prepare for things we don't even know we don't know.

In the rapidly changing, uncertain and complex VUCA world we live in, it can be difficult to even identify what is happening right now. This entails that the future will be even more difficult to predict.

“The Unknown Unknown is about preparing for things we don’t know we don’t know, creating an ability to recognize when it happens and to be there and maybe part of the solution when it happens,” says Josefin Södergård, Head of Strategic Capabilities at Stena AB, and responsible for the two-part module.

The first part is about creating a platform to stand on that is based on authentic leadership. 

“When you start out from authentic leadership, which is based on who you are as a person and leader, it becomes easier to lead in a world where you do not always know where you should go,” say Josefin Södergård. “At the same time, it will also be easier for others to follow you even if you change direction.”

So far, 25 leaders at Stena have completed the first part of the module. What is unique is that it contains elements of collaboration with horses – something that has proven completely unsurpassed when it comes to working with authentic leadership. 

“For quite some time, I had thought about how we could create a good course about authentic leadership. When I got the idea with horses, everything fell into place,” says Josefin Södergård. “I then came across a conference in Kazakhstan that gathered the world leaders in the field and journeyed there. Together with some of participants at the conference, we have now tailored a course for Stena.”

One of those who recently took the course is Niklas Fredriksson, Deputy CIO at Stena Long Term Equity.

“I strongly recommend that everyone who gets the opportunity to take the course does so,” says Niklas Fredriksson. “For my part, it has given me aha-experiences beyond the ordinary, which I think everyone will experience. I also liked that there was such a clear connection between theory and practice, and to one’s own work, regardless of the leadership role one has.”

In addition to The Unknown Unknown, he has also completed the modules Exploring the golden minds and Gain or drain within the framework of Stena’s leadership program Ready 4 Anything.

“All the courses have been a great way of exploring and developing one’s leadership in a secure and stimulating environment,” says Niklas Fredriksson. “It has also been quite fun and useful with all the exercises and being able to get direct feedback and concrete tips. All in all, it has given me a good understanding of how to develop successful leadership together with other leaders at Stena.”

The second module in The Unknown Unknown is virtual and will begin with a pilot course in the autumn. 

“This is more about mindset and behavior, pushing boundaries and being in arenas where you usually are not,” Josefin Södergård explains.

Josefin Södergård & Niklas Fredriksson

The leadership program Ready 4 Anything is developing Stena’s leaders for the future

Leaders at Stena are responsible for developing the capabilities of their employees, the business and themselves, which requires new skills when the world around us is so volatile. The new leadership program Ready 4 Anything (R4A) is another step on the way to developing Stena’s leaders so that they can capture the opportunities of the future. The program is divided into six modules, conducted on an ongoing basis and are intended for all leaders at Stena.


VUCA is a way of describing the rapidly changing and uncertain world we live in, and to which we need to adapt and relate. The concept was originally developed by the military and has since then been adopted throughout businesses and organizations in many industries and sectors to guide leadership and strategy planning. 

The VUCA world is

Conditions are changing so fast that it is difficult to predict what will happen next. 

There is a great deal of uncertainty even about the present, which makes it even more difficult to predict the future.

The causal relationships are complicated and also include unknown factors.

The information available – if it even exists – is often ambiguous and can be interpreted in several ways.


New Director of People and Organizational Excellence, Stena AB

Maria Holmberg

Maria Holmberg began her duties as the new Director of People and Organizational Excellence for Stena AB on July 1. Maria Holmberg has extensive experience in organizational development and work with corporate culture and leadership, including serving as the HR Manager at Stena Property.

Maria Holmberg became the Head of Leadership Development at Stena AB at the beginning of the year, and on July 1, took over as the Director of People and Organi-zational Excellence after the departure of Eva Hansdotter.

“I have had the privilege of working close to Eva for many years and I admire what she has done for Stena,” says Maria Holmberg.“It is an honor to continue her work with further development of the organizational leadership and culture that we’ll need for the future.”

Maria has been the HR manager at Stena Property for the past 14 years. She has also periodically taken part in coordination of social sustainability management at Stena Property and been responsible for the company’s work with innovation. 

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Psychology from the University of Skövde, where she also taught for a few years. Alongside her duties at Stena Property, she has also held a number of board positions, including for the employer organization Almega Fastighetarbetsgivarna.

Maria has also been very engaged in the challenge of attracting young people to the real estate field, and for a number of years, has served on the board of the branch organization Fastighetshetsbranschens Utbildningsnämnd.


New CEO, Stena Adactum

Anders Wassberg

Anders Wassberg became the new president and CEO of Stena Adactum on October 1. He will also be part of the Stena Sphere coordination group.

Martin Svalstedt, who after nearly 20 years is leaving the CEO post, will continue to serve as an advisor to the Stena Sphere and as a board member of Stena International.

Since 2009, Anders Wassberg has been  president and CEO of Ballingslöv International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stena Adactum. He has previously been the president and CEO of Gustaf Kährs and Beijer Byggmaterial. He is also the chairman of the board for Kährs Holding and Svedbergs in Dalstorp, as well as a board member for Inwido. Anders Wassberg holds a Master of Science in Engineering degree from Chalmers University of Technology. 

Stena Adactum has nine portfolio companies with wholly owned subsidiaries consisting of Ballingslöv International, Envac, Blomsterlandet and Captum, as well as the associated companies Stena Renewable, Gunnebo, Midsona, Beijer Group and Svedbergs.


New Deputy CEO, Stena AB

Annika Hult

1 January 2021 Annika Hult, presently Trade Director Stena Line North Sea, will take up the role as Deputy CEO Stena AB.

Staffan Hultgren, who has been Deputy CEO since 2010, will move on to own Advisory businesses and be an advisor to Fastighets AB Josefina and its shareholders the Olsson and Eriksson families.

Annika Hult has worked for the Stena AB Group for 22 years. The first 12 years within finance and Business Control, of which 5 years for Stena Drilling and 3 years at Stena AB Group level. After working with Business Control Annika was Managing Director of Stena International for 3 years and Managing Director of Stena Line BV, the Netherlands, and Trade Director North Sea for the last 7 years.




Stena Bulk has recently conducted a test of ExxonMobil's first marine biofuel. The trial was conducted in commercial operation and included evaluation of onboard fuel storage, as well as handling and use of the fuel in both the main and auxiliary engines. The experiment was very successful and demonstrates yet again the potential of marine biofuel as an alternative to conventional fuels.

This spring, Stena Bulk conducted a successful biofuel test in collaboration with GoodFuels Marine. This time, ExxonMobil was the test partner.

“Various non-conventional fuels play a big role in accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in shipping,” says Erik Hånell, president and CEO of Stena Bulk. “ExxonMobil’s biofuel development is an important step towards the broader use of low-carbon fuels. We are pleased to be involved by testing the fuel in commercial operation. It went very well, the fuel worked completely trouble-free without any modifications to engines or other procedures.”




Compliance – that is, compliance with laws and regulations – is an important area that affects everyone who works at Stena. It is closely linked to Stena's values and is a part of the company's DNA. There are tremendous benefits in doing the right thing. Through compliance, both competitive advantages and professional pride are created among employees.

Compliance concerns both the applicable laws and regulations, as well as the policies that Stena establishes to comply with them. In recent years there have been an almost explosive development in terms of new laws and directives, as well as strengthening those that already exist. Much is about new EU directives, such as the GDPR and financial regulations. “Compliance affects everyone who works at Stena, regardless of their position,” says Anders Wallin, Group Compliance Manager for Stena AB. “That’s why it’s important to establish a culture that enables us to comply with all the new laws and regulations. We do this in such a way that it doesn’t become arduous additional work, but rather something that we can benefit from.”

Anders Wallin


There are many reasons why it is important to work with compliance. First and foremost, it is about the company’s integrity, good reputation and trust among customers. A good culture of compliance also contributes to professional pride and good customer relations, which in itself is the basis for the success of doing business.

“If you read Dan’s White Book, you see that there is a strong connection to what is written there and this area,”  Anders Wallin points out.

Poor compliance also entails a risk of fines and other legal sanctions. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise both in terms of fines and review for verification of compliance. An example of this is the GDPR.

“Companies that have violated the GDPR have had to pay penalties ranging from 5,000 euros up to 300 million euros,” says Anders Wallin. “Next year, a new consumer law will go into effect with fines set at a maximum of 4 percent of the revenue and with the general level for business fines in Sweden increasing from 10 to 500 million Swedish crowns. This indicates a clear trend in creating strong incentives for lasting change.” 

Compliance is a part of Corporate Governance


To be able to comply with laws and directives within Stena’s various business areas, there are a number of policies that set out principles and focus for compliance. Based on these, concrete processes and instructions can then be prepared. Anders Wallin and his colleagues are currently establishing a compliance program that will facilitate the implementation of new laws and directives. 

“The program will make everything much more visual and it will be easy to show which requirements are included as well as the steps to be followed,” says Anders Wallin. “It entails both a form of quality control and assurance that we’re doing the right things, and it also saves time. We also need to work more with our policies so that they become even more relatable to what we do and become more easily accessible, with searchable documents where you can quickly find answers to questions that might come up in your day-to-day work. Working together, we believe that these measures will make the compliance area an even more natural and integrated part of the business.”


Erik Ronsberg & Wiebke Jensen

Erik Ronsberg, CEO Stena Drilling 

“It is hugely important for Stena Drilling to be a workplace that values integrity and ethical conduct.  In my opinion, a solid compliance culture builds integrity and respect. On the other hand, poor compliance can result in fines, lawsuits, loss of reputation and more.  The commitment to promoting effective compliance programmes in each Business Area within the Stena Sphere, contributes to the integrity and reputation of the overall Stena reputation and brand.”

Wiebke Jensen, Data Protection Officer, Stena Line

“Compliance with legislations may feel like a tough task in the beginning, but when it gets a part of all our everyday routine, it is possible to become a culture. In Stena Line, we strive for providing our customers and employees with a high degree of protection of their personal data. Our credibility and reliability should be one reason why our customers have us as their first choice.”




Stena Recycling's subsidiary Batteryloop has quickly taken a place in the electrification of industry and society. The company's solution for creating energy storage plants from recycled batteries is arousing considerable interest. Several business arrangements and collaborative projects have been initiated.

In early September, Batteryloop announced a global collaborative agreement with Volvo Buses. The agreement calls for Batteryloop creating energy storage plants with Volvo Buses’ used batteries. This is a sustainable solution that extends the commercial life of batteries and conserves natural resources. Local energy storage plants can be used both by industrial and commercial properties to, for example, store renewable energy that can later be used to meet peak energy demand. Surplus can be sold and supplied to the power grid.

“By giving the batteries a “second life”, we use the earth’s resources in a better way. In electromobility, we create new circular business systems and this collaboration is really a big step in the right direction,” says Håkan Agnevall, CEO, Volvo Buses.

“We are very happy and proud that Batteryloop is getting the opportunity to buy the used batteries and develop this solution together with Volvo Buses,” says Rasmus Bergström, CEO, Batteryloop. “In addition to reuse, the agreement also means that we can guarantee safe and environmentally sound recycling once the batteries are no longer capable of energy storage. Through this arrangement, we can provide a sustainable circular solution for Volvo Buses’ batteries. Collaboration also means that we can turn a cost into a revenue stream for the customer.”

Stena Line has a long-term plan for electrification of vessels. Solving how to charge them is an important issue. Energy storage of recycled batteries can be a solution.

Towards the end of September, news of a collaborative arrangement was announced with, among others, Stena Rederi and Stena Line, as well as the ports of Göteborg and Kiel. Here it is a matter of developing a solution for energy storage that works in a port environment, such as for charging future electric ferries. The project is partially financed by the EU through the innovation unit INEA (the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency).

“One thing is certain, batteries are here to stay,” says Rasmus Bergström. “To conserve natural resources and make this sustainable, we need to do everything we can to use the batteries for as long as possible. Our conclusion is that very many batteries can have a second life in energy storage. If we can find solutions that are scalable and that work in a port environment, we have a win-win situation in many ways.”

Rasmus Bergström, CEO, Batteryloop and Håkan Agnevall, CEO, Volvo Buses, signing the cooperation agreement

“This is an important milestone for electrification of shipping,” says Per Wimby, project manager for electrification at Stena Teknik. “The fully electric ferry Stena Elektra is on the drawing board, but to succeed we need, among other things, to solve the charging issue. Energy storage plants in port, based on recycled batteries, is a very interesting and sustainable alternative for the future.”

Batteryloop and Volvo Buses are already running a joint project, together with Stena Fastigheter, with bus batteries being used to store energy to provide electricity to the Fyrklövern residential area in Göteborg. The stored electricity comes from solar panels on building roofs. 

Several new and exciting developments are underway that will be presented later in the autumn.


Swedish Industry gathers for second time


On October 21, some of Sweden's largest companies will once again gather at the Circular Initiative event to drive efforts towards achieving a more circular economy. This year, a major new development will be presented that is the result of innovative collaboration between Electrolux and Stena Recycling.

“When you start thinking circular economy, new ideas and opportunities arise for developing solutions and products. We are coming up with new services and areas for improvement – things that contribute to both business operations and the environ-ment. For example, new materials, the sharing economy and the ability to replace individual components instead of entire products.”

This according to Robin Teigland, one of the keynote speakers at the Circular Initiative 2020. The Circular Initiative is a collaborative arena initiated by Stena Recycling. Within this forum, companies work together to contribute to the creation of more circular material flows in society and industry, by highlighting common goals, innovations and technological development. 

Several innovative collaborative projects were carried out during the year. One example is that ABB, together with Stena Recycling, has developed a complete circular solution for electric motors in industry. Another is a collaborative project with Electrolux that has led to a major development that will be presented at this year’s event. More about this in the next issue of SfärNytt. 

During the year, Stena Recycling held several workshops together with other companies in the Circular Initiative. The goal is to find concrete solutions for circular material flows in industry and society.