WINDHOEK – The first ship-to-ship cargo transfer took place in Namibian waters on Sunday, when the Universal Africa Lines (UAL), a niche break bulk carrier servicing the oil and gas industry unloaded oil cargo from one vessel to another.
The operation took place some six miles off the Walvis Bay coast when 53 riser pipers weighing approximately 22 tons each measuring 24 meters long and 1.3 meters wide and high were transferred the cargo from the drill ship ENSCO DS-7 to the newly built UAL Houston and transported to Lobito, Angola for refurbishment.
The decision to use the ship-to-ship operation was “due to the draft in the port being too shallow and it can therefore not accommodate the drill ship,” said the shipping manager at UAL Namibia, Annalize Krause.
“Transferring oil and gas related cargoes from a ship to a land-based terminal is already a major operation in its own right, but when it comes to a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer it’s a far more complicated operation. A STS transfer is by no means an easy feat and therefore operations were carried out in accordance with the strictest adherence to safety regulations,” she said.
The UAL Houston is one of the new innovative vessels in the UAL fleet and was built in the Netherlands. This vessel is considered unique because of the application of the Groot Cross Bow, an innovative bow shape with wave piercing abilities. This ensures it will have less slamming and maintain speed easier when compared to the more conventional bow shapes with bow flare, ultimately resulting in massive energy savings as less fuel would be burned and there would be a reduction in the CO2 output.
By Staff Reporter