Work to extract 750 tonnes of heavy fuel oil from Lomar Shipping’s stranded container ship Kea Trader has been completed and efforts are already underway to remove containers from the vessel.
The 2,194 teu vessel ran aground on July 12 after hitting the Durand Reefs, near New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean.
Last weekend, salvors began trials to remove containers using the ship’s own cranes. Six of the vessel’s 756 containers, of which 553 were being carried empty for onward shipments, were successfully transferred onto a barge.
In a detailed plan for re-floating the vessel, salvors plan to continue removing containers, concentrating initially on those units that are most accessible and those containing any hazardous goods.
A specialist Sikorsky Skycrane heavy lift helicopter and a crane barge that is currently en route from Singapore will join the mission.
Lomar Shipping said the container removing process could take sveral months to complete. Salvors will then work to re-float and stabilise the Kea Trader, before the remaining containers are discharged.
“Good progress has been made over the last week with all of the heavy fuel oil now having been extracted from the vessel. The focus has now turned to the removal of the containers on board, however the Kea Trader is in a remote part of the Pacific, which has made and will continue to make this procedure lengthy and complex in nature,” said a spokesperson from Lomar Shipping.