Belgium: Port of Antwerp Receives Capesize MG Courage
The deepening of the Western Scheldt has made the port of Antwerp easily accessible not only to Ultra Large Container Ships of over 10,000 TEU but also to capesize vessels, as demonstrated by yesterday’s arrival of the MG Courage with an enormous cargo of steam coal for the German market. The vessel entered the port with maximum draught, bound for Antwerp Bulk Terminal (SEA-invest) in the Delwaide dock.
The huge carrier has come directly from Richards Bay in South Africa, from where it left on 23 June with a cargo of 176,487 tonnes of steam coal. A small part of this was unloaded at the anchorage in Everingen near Teurneuzen, where floating cranes transferred 17,274 tonnes of coal to barges for onward transport to the hinterland. The remaining 159,213 tonnes is being unloaded in Antwerp, also destined for German power stations.
The arrival of the MG Courage is partly the result of the efforts by the “Dry Bulk” workgroup last year as part of the Total Plan for the port of Antwerp. This was a joint initiative by the various players in the port, aimed at further boosting the position of Antwerp as a port for large-scale coal handling and conventional breakbulk. The intention is to bring several such large carriers to the port.
The MG Courage, built in the Saijo shipyard (Japan) in 2007, is owned by the NYK line and sails under the Panamanian flag. It has a length of 299 m, a beam of 50 m and a maximum draught of 18.10 m. Its maximum cargo capacity is 206,254 tonnes.
Such bulk carriers are referred to as capesizers because they are too large to pass through the Panama and Suez canals and so have to travel around the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn.
Source: portofantwerp, July 20, 2011;