New cargo ship Oleander marks a milestone
The keel for a replacement for the ageing Oleander cargo ship has been laid in a Chinese shipyard, it was revealed yesterday.
The major step in the construction of the new freighter for Bermuda Container Line was celebrated at the shipyard as workers prepare to start work on the rest of the vessel.
A spokesman for the shipping line said the laying of the keel was the “ceremonial beginning” of the ship’s life.
John Wight, the chairman of the board at Neptune Group owners of BCL, said the pace of the project was “encouraging” for “the most technologically advanced vessel servicing Bermuda”.
The ship, due to arrive in Bermuda next March, will mean the retirement of the present Oleander, which was built in Holland in 1990.
The new ship, a vital link to the outside world, will be the fourth to carry the Oleander name. A total of 80 prefabricated sections are now being assembled on the slipway at Yangzijiang shipyard.
Barry Brewer, the CEO at Bermuda Container Line, said the ship’s “main engine, bow thrusters, auxiliary generators and other key component”, had been tested and were ready to be installed.
Soren Hossermann, a managing director at Nordic Hamburg, which is building the vessel, said the new Oleander would go from the drawing board to a hull in the water inside the next 70 days.
Mr Hossermann added: “We are all looking forward to the traditional launching ceremony and then sea trials before she will be positioned to Bermuda at the beginning of next year to take up her service.”
Bermuda Container Line provides a weekly ocean freight service from New York to Bermuda.