29 October 2017

Lomar set to scrap Kea Trader

Lomar Shipping has decided to scrap damaged 2017-built container ship Kea Trader after salvage experts inspected the stranded vessel. Ardent was still removing containers from the 2,194 TEU capacity container ship wreck on 30 September and was considering refloating procedures.

Bad weather had delayed container removal, but Lomar said 532 containers have been discharged and delivered ashore in Noumea, New Caledonia. This still leaves 224 containers on the ship. Kea Trader, which was only delivered in January this year, remains on Durand Reef while Ardent progresses multiple plans for refloating the Malta-flagged ship.

Salvors will ensure the marine environment is protected during the refloat and will then tow the damaged vessel to a demolition yard. Ardent was removing most of the rest of the containers. A Lomar spokesman told Riviera Maritime Media that the majority of the containers were removed and the remainder will be removed following the vessel's re-floating.

After significant storms crashed through the salvage site in the South Pacific, Lomar was able to get specialists on board for detailed analysis and underwater inspections. These “identified extensive damage to the hull, rudder and propeller,” Lomar said.

It also explained that “most double bottom tanks have been affected” by the hard grounding. “There is water ingress in all five cargo holds, which is being controlled by portable pumps where possible to protect cargo.”

There has been further structural damage within the vessel and additional deterioration while it remained on the rock reef during rough swells.

Lomar said it spoke with the lead underwriter, Norwegian Hull Club, and P&I Club Skuld, then decided that the vessel cannot be repaired and will need to be recycled.

Kea Trader was launched in January 2017 at the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China. The 25,293 DWT vessel was sailing from Papeete, in French Polynesia, to Noumea in New Caledonia, loaded with 756 container units, when it ran aground on 12 July. It is expected to be one of the most costly and complex salvage projects in 2017.

Source: tug technology and business. 02 October 2017

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