Port welcomes largest bulk carrier

Published: Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 3:34:36 PM

MV Rising Sun berths at Geraldton Port

The largest ever bulk carrier to visit the Mid West was successfully berthed at Geraldton Port in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The 91,521 tonne deadweight carrier the MV Rising Sun is the first of a series of live trials to confirm if this new class of vessel could be a regular visitor to Geraldton Port in the future.

The vessel has a length of 235m and a 43m beam and can carry between 10-15% more cargo, exceeding the previous Panamax vessel limit of 225m x 32m which has been in place for many years, and the more recent limit of 235m x 38m.

The request to allow the new 235 x 43m class vessel to enter Geraldton Harbor was made by Karara Mining in 2017. The largest ever bulk carrier to visit the Mid West berthed at Geraldton Port this week

This led to a project meeting in late November attended by Karara, hydrodynamic ship motion experts and the Mid West Ports Authority’s marine team and engineers. 

The meeting set out a schedule involving tank testing, port and channel modelling, the collection of environmental data and simulation trials prior to this week’s live trial. 

Mid West Ports' Marine Pilot, Shannon Nicholson, said the live trial went without a hitch and the vessel handled as expected in the favourable conditions.

 “I was joined in the ship’s bridge by another of our senior pilots, a hydrodynamic professor and a tug master from Svitzer who collectively oversaw the operation,” he said.

“The handling of the vessel down the channel and in the harbor, was assisted by the three tugs stationed in Geraldton. 

“The tug masters were all satisfied that tug capacities, as expected, were up to the job and also reported that from their perspective the pilotage went well.”

The vessel, built in 2006 in Japan, will load a cargo of approximately 79 000 tonnes of iron ore. 

The MWPA will continue to monitor the Dynamic Under-keel Clearance, or the space from the seabed to the keel, by utilizing a sophisticated computer program with live environmental inputs.

The Dynamic Under-keel Clearance program will determine how deep the ship can load prior to sailing out of Geraldton Port at high tide this evening.

Following its departure, further trials, encompassing various environmental conditions, will take place prior to the new class of vessel being accepted as a standard vessel to visit Geraldton Port.

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