Floating crane Bulk Express to be deployed in Trinidad. Vizag Seaports Pvt. Limited, which operates a multi-commodity bulk cargo terminal comprising EQ-8 and 9 at Visakhapatnam Port under BOT basis, facilitated the crane’s deployment for several years through its owners Emirates Trading Agency (ETA), Dubai.

Truly living up to its earlier name ‘Diamond of Vizag’, floating crane Bulk Express will slip into annals of history after rendering glorious years of service to Visakhapatnam port.

The crane made in Holland and mounted on a pontoon was deployed on August 26, 1996 enabling Visakhapatnam port handle large size vessels. Due to less draft, bigger vessels like Panamax with a deadweight tonnage of 75,000 were unable to anchor in the harbour. The crane was performing lightening (discharge part of cargo reducing the weight) to allow the ship to berth.

Vizag Seaports Pvt. Limited, which operates a multi-commodity bulk cargo terminal comprising EQ-8 and 9 at Visakhapatnam Port under BOT basis, facilitated the crane’s deployment for several years through its owners Emirates Trading Agency (ETA), Dubai.

“The crane did a yeoman service to the port fraternity helping them in multiple ways,” said a nostalgic R. Kishore, CEO of VSPL.

Mr. Kishore said Bulk Express helped Visakhapatnam Port achieve the unique distinction of being the first port on the east coast to handle a Cape size vessel m.v. Lanteau Peak on December 1, 1998 chartered for SAIL. Impressed by its ability, SAIL also encouraged gearless Panamax vessels. In October 2001, m.v. Big Wave chartered from ETA had arrived carrying SAIL coal. Bulk Express successfully carried out the lightening operations of m.v. Big Wave after which there was no looking back.

With the commissioning of new-look General Cargo Berth by Vedanta, Visakhapatnam Port no more needs a floating crane for lightening. It was decommissioned a year ago.

A robust crane

“We have very emotional attachment to it having worked here for several years. It’s robust crane with which occasional dry docking at Hindustan Shipyard has rendered yeoman service,” said VSPL General Manager (Port Operations) D.V.S.S.K. Chakravarthy.

Bulk Express has been bought by Oldendorff Carriers GmbH of Germany. It will undergo dry docking and modernisation and deployed in Trinidad and Tobago. “We are very excited to take this in m.v. Eide Trader in a day or two for its new innings in an estimated 55-day voyage,” said Michael Kartheuser, technical product manager of Oldendorff.

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