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Displaying items by tag: Heavylift ship

A Chinese flagged heavy-lift ship which called to Dublin Port to unload a pair of rubber tyred gantry (RTG) container cranes has since departed and arrived to Belfast Harbour this morning to unload a further three, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat tracked the heavy-lift ship along with accompanying Svitzer tugs in Belfast Harbour. This saw Svitzer Surrey (at the bow) while Svitzer Sussex assisted at the stern.  

As also previously reported Da Ji's delivery project cargo of 'straddle-carriers' to Dublin Port was inaccurate, despite information sourced from various relevant bodies within the port company's estate. In fact the part-cargo as mentioned above were Kalmar built RTG's which are to be used at Irish Continental Group (ICG)'s container divsion, Dublin Ferryport Terminal (DFT) a 32-acre site leased from DPC and located on the north side of the port close to ICG's Irish Ferries terminal.

Afloat still awaits a response from ICG on further details on the container terminal's new infrastructure, as they were not necessarily loaded on board Da Ji's last port of call prior to Irish waters, Oran in Algeria, north Africa. Perhaps these cranes came from China?

Of the original five of RTG's which Afloat tracked on the Da Ji's arrival to Dublin Port on Wednesday, the remaining three are due to be discharged in Belfast Harbour where ICG also operate their Belfast Container Terminal (BCT) division located at Victoria Terminal 3 (VT3).

BCT operate's this sole container terminal at Belfast Harbour under a services concession agreement with Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

The 27 acre-site likewise of it's Dublin counterpart, is located on the north side of Belfast Port's estate. In addition both terminals, BCT and DFT are served by ICG's other container division EUCON whose 'feeder' containerships connect Belfast and Dublin with the major northern European mainland hub-ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam.

According to ICG's website, BCT's container compound comprises of 3 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes, 3 rail-mounted gantry cranes and also the same number of straddle carriers.

The installation of the RTG's is part of a £40m container infrastructure upgrade at VT3 as Afloat previously reported. The three-year investment programme will see Belfast Harbour invest £28m in ten new cranes and undertake major civil works to reconfigure the terminal. This will enable the terminal to increase capacity by around 30% and improve terminal efficiency.

In total there are 250 sailings annually between Belfast and the ports in Belgium and The Netherlands and according to the port calls also to Le Havre, France. Last year VT3 handled almost 128,000 containers, a 1.5% increase on the previous year and the highest volume since 2010.

The work at VT3 (which opened in 1993) is amongst the largest investments undertaken and according to the port will lead to the most modern container handling terminals of its size in Europe.

As Afloat reported last month (see photo caption), a pair Ship to Shore (STS) cranes manufactured by Liebherr Cranes were delivered to the VT2 for assembly before moved across the River Lagan where the VT3 terminal is located.

According to Belfast Harbour last year, these RTG's also from Kalmar, which will make for faster and more versatile operations than the current yard cranes. In addition be operated remotely, further increasing productivity. Then it was also reported that the first five of 8 RTGs will be delivered in November and with the first pair of RTGs ready for use in early Q1 of this year.

This morning also in Belfast Harbour, Afloat tracked the Chinese built second newbuild Stena E-Flexer series ropax ferry Stena Edda which entered service this year on the Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service. Stena's terminal in the port for the 'Liverpool' route is based at VT2 whereas those for Cairnryan (Loch Ryan Port) are based downriver at VT4.

As for the unloading of the heavy-liftship, Da Ji, progress in the discharging operations is subject to weather with the ship scheduled to depart Belfast Harbour by tomorrow evening.

Published in Belfast Lough

In the Port of Cork a major crane-loading operation gets underway this week.

The heavy-lift ship, reports EchoLive, is the Happy Buccaneer which arrived yesterday and will be used to load five gantry cranes destined for Montreal.

The operation will be similar to the loading operation in 2017 that saw three port cranes loaded onboard the heavy transport vessel Albatross and exported to Puerto Rico.

The cranes have been manufactured by Liebherr in Killarney and will be transported to the Doyle Shipping Group's (DSG) facility in Rushbrooke where the loading operation will take place.

For more click here. 

Published in Port of Cork
In a third attempt to load two fast-ferries bound for Mauritius, one of the vessel's has so far been successfully positioned onboard the cargoship in Galway dock, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Clann na nOileáin was first loaded onboard this morning whereas her sister Clann Eagle I will be hoisted this afterrnoon. It is expected that this procedure will take around four hours to complete.

The 234-passenger ferries have been the centre of attention since two previous attempts proved unsuccessful following incidents in the mid-west port.

On the first attempt that took place nearly a fortnight ago, three men onboard the ferry were injured when the ships's crane-sling snapped when handling the 170 tonnes ferry Clann na nOileáin.

Fortunately the ferry was hanging over the water and splashed into Dun Aengus Dock rather than landing on the hold of the 4,078 gross tonnes cargo-vessel Thor Gitta. In the second attempt last
Saturday one of the cargoship's cranes sounded a safety alarm which halted proceedings.

The Danish-flagged Thor Gitta is the second heavy-lift cargoship that has been called in to assist in transporting the two former Aran Islands fast-ferries. The 100m cargoship is owned by Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg and is expected to depart Galway tommorrow morning.

The first heavylift vessel the German-flagged Patanal grounded in rough seas after dragging its anchor in Casla Bay at the entrance to Rossaveal, where the ferries were originally based in readiness for loading.

Patanal suffered hull damage and was taken into Galway Bay for preliminary repair work. Last week the 7,002grt vessel operated by Harren + Partners, departed the bay to undergo further repairs at a dry-dock in Bremerhaven.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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