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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Car Carrier Tijuca makes it maiden voyage to East London, South Africa

The 21st Sept loading at East London Harbour of 3168 cars would have captured all headlines and Liberty Ace should have garnered all attention.  But all that appears to have been shadowed by the maiden visit of  Tijuca.

For those with passion of cars, Mercedes represents luxury –  a status symbol.  Mercedes-Benz  is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks, and is  a division of its parent company, Daimler AG.   It has many variants of which C Class is one.  It is touted as a compact executive car and was first introduced in 1993, as a replacement of 190 range (W 201 nicknamed as Baby Benz).  For some time, it was the smallest model.  It is produced in Mercedes factories in Sindelfingen, Bremen, Brazil and East London.  The C-Class is the entry-level offering in Mercedes-Benz's United States lineup.  Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global company, Daimler AG. It manufactures Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars in right-hand drive for the local market and in left-hand drive execution for export to the United States of America.

East London earlier known as Port Rex, is a city on the southeast coast of South Africa, situated at 32.97°S and 27.87°E in the Buffalo City Local Municipality in the Amatole District of the Eastern Cape Province. The city lies on the Indian Ocean coast, largely between the Buffalo River and the Nahoon River, and is the country's only river port.   

Photo courtesy : http://www.myza.co.za/
The Port saw some hectic activity as on 21st Sept 11 with the loading of  3168 new-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars, destined for the United States of America on the Liberty Ace vessel.   Now the Port will see more activity with the calling of 231M long Tijuca.  The 231-metre Tijuca  became the largest car-carrier ever to sail into the port of East London.

It is the longest Car carrier and belongs to Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA a global maritime industry group, headquartered in Lysaker, Norway.   The  company's first vessel was the Mathilde in 1886.  The company was renamed Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) in 2005.   The 13 deck ship  Vessel Tijuca on its  maiden voyage to South Africa, took advantage of a recent expansion project which saw the berth at the car terminal deepened from 9.3 to 10.5 metres.  The Port authorities are buoyant of future  business opportunities projecting a positive outlook in the new vehicles market subsequent to this arrival.  The Vessel built  in  2008 and operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, the Tijuca has capacity for up to 8,000 units of rolling cargo such as cars, high and heavy cargo and some breakbulk cargo.  It stands at 231.6 metres in length with a gross tonnage of 71 673. It has a breadth of 32.26 metres and a summer draught of 11.3 metres when fully laden.

The ship also boasts a ‘green Passport’, issued by Lloyds Register according to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) guidelines. This confirms its application of the latest technology which ensures it operates in an environmentally efficient manner especially with low greenhouse gas emissions.  The ship has a crew of 26 consisting of  people from Philippines, Europe and India and would depart to Melbourne, Australia from there.  

Being specially built Car carrier, cargo can be  loaded and discharged over a wide and strong stern ramp or via the smaller side ramp. Deck 6 can be accessed directly via the side ramp, thus permitting two separate cargo flows during loading and discharging. The cargo decks below main deck are served via fixed and hoistable ramps to allow simultaneous loading of deck 1-4.  The cargo decks above main deck are generally accessed via fixed ramps. In addition to the fixed ramp system from deck 5 to deck 13, additional hoistable ramps provide flexible access to the aft part of the ship from deck 8 to 12.

The vessel is powered by one electronically controlled slow speed, two stroke main engine and propelled by a single fixed pitch (FP) propeller cast in Ni-Al-Bronze.

Tailpiece :  the price of Mercedes Benz C class starts from 30 lakhs and ranges up to 75 lakhs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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