By Jite Eriabie
The 2017-built containership Kea Trader will have to be scrapped after running aground off New Caledonia just a few months into service.
The ship’s owner Lomar Shipping said Friday that inspections of the ship have revealed extensive damages that are beyond repair.
“Most double bottom tanks have been affected. There is water ingress in all five cargo holds, which is being controlled by portable pumps where possible to protect cargo, Lomar Shipping said in a statement. The company said damage to the vessel extends to the hull, rudder and propeller.
“Given the nature of the damage already known, that expected in currently inaccessible areas, and as a result of the vessel’s continuing deterioration, the company has regrettably had to agree with its H&M insurer that the vessel cannot be repaired and will need to be recycled,” Lomar Shipping said in a statement Friday.
The 2,194 TEU Kea Trader was built by Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in China and delivered to Lomar Shipping in March.
The vessel ran aground off New Caledonia on July 12, 2017 and remains hard aground as salvors from Ardent work to remove it without harming the environment. About two-thirds of the 756 containers on board have been removed from the vessel so far.
Lomar Shipping was hoping they could refloat the vessel, but its condition has deteriorated in recent weeks with heavy weather hampering the salvage effort. In late August, salvors and the Kea Trader’s crew were taken off the vessel for the second time since the grounding.
“We are committed to the safe removal of Kea Trader while also protecting the marine environment. We will continue to devote all necessary resources and work closely with Ardent, our P&I Club Skuld, and the local authorities in New Caledonia, to deliver on this plan,” the company said.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
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