#CoalShip – A general cargoship that was a frequent caller to Belfast Harbour but did not depart to a port on the Irish Sea or for that matter beyond, so how could that be?, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The answer to that is to be found in the transhipment trade of coal within Belfast Harbour. This involved the cargoship Jolanta. The Cypriot flagged ship used to ply between Belfast Harbour and Kilroot to supply the Power Station located there that originally was oil burning but in 1989 converted to dual-fuel firing with coal. The plant's jetty in Kilroot (pictured above) is nearby to Carrickfergus on the north shore of Belfast Lough.
Larger bulk-carriers loaded with coal imports are discharged in Belfast Harbour along Stormont Wharf, centrally located in the port. It is from the adjacent Sinclair Wharf is where the transhipment of coal continues to takes place. The distance between Belfast Harbour and the jetty at Kilroot Power Station is a mere seven or so nautical miles. As for the passage time across Belfast Lough of the 4,520dwt Jolanta, this only took approximately 40 minutes to complete.
Alongside the jetty in Kiltoot today is the cargoship Rix Flevo which had sailed from Belfast in the wake of Jolanta's former short-hop trading route. As for 4,515dwt Rix Flevo, the cargoship is registered in Riga, the capital of Latvia, one of the Baltic States which neighbours Estonia. Incidentally, to the west of that nation's capital, Talinn is where the Jolanta is berthed in Paljassaare.
Jolanta had made a crossing of the Baltic Sea from Oxelosund, Sweden. Beforehand of this first Scandinavian port of call, Jolanta having departed Belfast Harbour made an en route call to Falmouth. The 1999 built cargsoship was alongside A&P Falmouth, a shiprepairer and dry-docking maintenance business.
It was this day last week that Afloat monitored Jolanta depart the Cornish port. The Limassol registered vessel was underway in the English Channel for the Baltic Sea.