New Oceanex ship construction on schedule

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Fabrication of state of the art vessel to cost $108 million

A digital drawing of what the new Oceanex Connaigra will look like coming into
St. John’s harbour this fall. The vessel is cutting edge in design, Oceanex said, with adjustable as well as fixed decks, multiple stabilizing mechanisms to address challenges posed by the harsh climate and a filter system so the ship will be considered to have zero-emissions. — Submitted Image courtesy of Oceanex

Construction of what will be the largest roll-on, roll-off vessel in Canada, the new Oceanex Connaigra, is set to begin at a dockyard in Germany.

Oceanex executive chairman Captain Sid Hynes said next week he will be making the trip to the shipyard of Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (FSG) to see about any last-minute preparations for the Feb. 11 start.

As The Telegram reported in October 2012, the cargo ship is expected to cost $108 million to build. It has been on FSG’s order book since at least March 2012, with advanced engineering, design and construction prep work ongoing since.

“We developed a high degree of comfort with these people very early in the game, that we felt they knew what we were talking about and they could address our needs,” Hynes said.

“They’ve built 40 per cent of all similar-type ships in the world.”

Similar-type ships are Ro-Cons, also known as Con-Ros — a hybrid of container ships and roll-on, roll-off vehicle carriers.

Assembly of the Oceanex Connaigre in the FSG yard is expected to run 130 days.

By May 31, the new ship is expected to be in the water and the outfitting of the ship will then begin.

Sea trials are set to begin Sept. 12, with delivery in October.

“It doesn’t exist in the world, anything like this. It’s a very unique vessel,” Hynes said Wednesday.

The ship will have 8,000 horsepower side thrusters, fin stabilizers and, in a world first, a filtration system will remove all sulphur content from the ship’s heavy fuel emissions.

“It uses lime (for filtration) and it’s amazing actually that the lime, when you’re finished with it, you can use it for fertilizer, to make gypsum board, it’s totally benign,” he said.

It will join the MV Cabot, Oceanex Sanderling and Oceanex Avalon, becoming the private company’s new flagship and it will be used to provide year-round service between the island and ports in Halifax and Montreal.

“It’s part of our fleet renewal strategy ... plus it’s a way of adding additional capacity,” Hynes said.

He added there is not currently urgent need for additional capacity, but the new ship is being built to meet needs identified in a 30-year outlook for the company.

Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: Canada, Halifax, Montreal

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