Belgium: MSC Emanuela Scores Record Keeldepth in Antwerp Port Without Difficulty
The 366 metre-long container carrier MSC Emanuela reached the port of Antwerp without difficulty on 3 April with a record draught of 15 metres, a depth never before attained by any container ship on the Scheldt. This has been made possible by the third round of dredging in the Western Scheldt (the lower Scheldt estuary) that was completed last year, permitting tide-independent navigation with draughts of up to 13.10 metres. With due allowance for the tide, vessels with even greater draught can sail up the Scheldt.
The arrival of the Emanuela served as an official test voyage for which permission had been granted by the Permanent Commission for Supervision of Scheldt Navigation. The flawless upstream trip by the MSC Emanuela is of great importance for allowing the Scheldt navigation conditions to be made more flexible. The successful test trip was welcomed by Marc Van Peel, alderman for the port and chairman of Antwerp Port Authority: “On average two ultra-large container ships call at the port of Antwerp each week. That they can now travel with even deeper draught is a great boost for container shipping in Antwerp,” he declared.
The successful test trip by the MSC Emanuela also forms part of preparations for the new MSC sailing schedule, with container carriers calling directly at Antwerp from the Far East as of the end of April. This too will be a “first” for the port.
Source: portofantwerp, April 6, 2011;