Soren Huscher is leaving as head of Denmark’s Norden Tanker Pools, having lead the commercial management platform since its inception in 2005.

The pool operates MR and handysize product tankers and was previously known as Norient.

Anders Birk will succeed Huscher as head of commercial for pool management, Norden said in a LinkedIn update.

Michael Schytt Christensen will continue in his role as head of operations for the tanker pool.

Both will continue to report to Norden’s head of tankers, Soren Tolboll Nielsen.

The bulker and product tanker owner-operator said Huscher “has decided to leave Norden”.

“We thank Soren for his significant contribution to Norden over the years,” the company said.

Huscher is the second senior member of Norden’s commercial staff to leave in just over a month.

Christian Vinther Christensen stepped down in early April as chief operating officer of the Freight Services & Trading division, of which the tanker pool is a part.

Huscher has been chief executive of the Norient Product Pool since 2005, when it was established as a joint venture with tanker owner Interorient. Norden bought out its partner’s stake in 2019.

The commercial management platform was renamed Norden Tanker Pools in 2022 to reflect the change in ownership and appeal to a wider base of partners.

Huscher spearheaded work to revamp the pool, which included overhauling its pool document to make it more user-friendly and making more timely distributions of earnings to partners.

He was also instrumental in building the scale of the pool and taking on more contracts of affreightment for products such as diesel oil and gasoline for handysizes and MRs.

In relaunching the pool, the plan was to increase membership but Russia’s war in Ukraine provided significant hurdles, according to Norden’s 2023 report.

“As a consequence of the development in the product tanker market, where the restrictions and embargo on the export of Russian oil have led to higher earnings and asset values, it has been challenging to expand the pool partners and capacity during 2023,” the report said.

The number of pool-operated vessels fell by three ships year on year to 67 vessels during 2023.

Norden’s tanker pool activities generated an Ebitda of $7m in 2023, down by $1m on the previous year.

The pool’s membership currently comprises 58 external vessels and 19 pool partners, in addition to 14 vessels owned or time-chartered by Norden.

The pool today has a big focus on data and intelligence for market modelling and to create efficiencies and carbon savings, according to Norden’s website.

Chief executive Jan Rindbo told TradeWinds in March that Norden would be interested in expanding its tanker presence to include LR2 vessels.

“But we’ve not done anything yet because tankers are in an expensive place right now,” Rindbo said at the time.

The latest two MR tankers joined the Norden pool in April and are owned by Indonesia’s Pertamina.

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