Group history

Ultragas Aps is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sociedade Ultranav Limitada, which is the shipowning/operating unit of the family owned Ultramar Group of Santiago, Chile.


Ultramar was founded in 1952 by Captain Albert von Appen as a ship agency company, initially focusing on providing agency and logistical support services to foreign shipping companies. Captain von Appen was subsequently joined by his two sons, Sven von Appen and Wolf von Appen, who successfully developed and diversified the group into other shipping related activities and expanded the activities into a.o. Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama – and in more recent times into Europe and the U.S.

The group is major operator of port terminals and has undertakings in industrial activities including mining, power generation, gas storage and distribution, sulphoric acid production. Please visit

In deep sea shipping activities Ultranav today operates about 220 vessels, approximately 60 of which are owned vesssels. To this can be added about 70 specialized vessels within harbour and deep sea towage, salvage activities, and off-shore drilling and production support in a number of locations throughout South America.

The deep sea fleet includes tankers for the transport of crude oil, refined products, and chemicals, dry cargo bulk carriers, multi-purpose dry cargo vessels, and specialized vessels for the transport of liquified gases.

The group is today jointly headed by Dag von Appen, and Richard von Appen.

The group was amongst the first to engaged in the transport of gas in liquid form, having acquired a 90 cubic meter capacity gas carrier newbuilding in 1960. With an overall length of 23 meters only, it was probably the smallest vessel of its kind ever built. Placed into service in the southernmost Patagonia region of South America it vastly improved the logistics for local gas producers and consumers replacing the traditional transport of gas in steel bottles.

This ability to - jointly with clients – identify and develop new and efficient transport solutions has been key to the expansion of the group, and within the gas transportation area to Ultragas ApS, which today operates the group’s more than 20 specialized gas carriers in international trading and of various types and sizes ranging from 3500 cbm to 20.700 cbm cargo capacity.

Ultragas started operations in 1960 with a gas carrier only 23 meters long and 90 cubic meters of capacity, being the smallest vessel of its kind ever built.

Company history

Ever since the arrival to Chile of our German built tug “ULTRAMAR” in 1966, the incorporation of state of the art technology has been one of our fundamental aims. This first tug was equipped with a Kort nozzle, a novelty at that time. Since then, we have gradually increased our fleet and adapted to market requirements in line with the latest available technology, thus expanding our services to other countries in the South American region. Twenty years later and aligned with this purpose, we introduced to Chile and the region the first ASD tug “ULTRAMAR X”, which was positioned in Punta Arenas. Today more than 75% of our harbour fleet is composed by ASD tugs.

Presently, our tugs and offshore vessels operate in and between all the major ports along the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts of South America.

We are expanding our coverage as well as our mix of services by offering pusher tugs and barges for river coastal trade in Uruguay and PSV for the offshore market in Brazil.

Our crews are one of the pillars of the company, receiving in-house training under strict trade standards. Our personnel working in salvage, ocean towage and off-shore operations receive additional training from international experts and they are well prepared to perform their highly specialized tasks.

Our first tug boat, the mythical "Ultramar" delivered on 1965