Polish-Built RO/RO Features Navire Cargo Access Gear

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Delivered recently by Stocznia Im. Komuny Paryskiej of Gdynia, Poland, was the Hoegh Banniere, the first of three similar, oceangoing roll-on/roll-off vessels being built f o r Leif Hoegh of Oslo. Intended for the North Europe-West Africa trade, she features an extensive array of cargo access equipment provided by Navire Cargo Gear (NCG) International AB of Gothenburg.

Heading the NCG equipment list is the massive quarter ramp — 50 meters long and able to accept rolling loads of up to 400 tons. With a width of 24 meters at the shipboard end and a minimum driveway width of 12 meters, the ramp allows rapid cargo handling irrespective of shore facilities.

The new ship is one of 27 R O / R O vessels built or on order equipped with stern quarter ramps of this size. Of these, 21 have NCG-designed ramps, a fact that reflects the Swedish company's preeminence in the design, development, and construction of this type of advanced equipment.

The Hoegh Banniere carries cargo on four decks. Access via the stern ramp and doorway, which is closed by a separate NCGdesigned watertight door, leads to three fixed ramps — a central ramp leading up to the weather deck (No. 4) flanked by one ramp leading gently down to the main deck (No. 3) and one ramp leading more steeply to deck No. 2. A further fixed ramp leads f r om deck No. 3 to deck No. 1, the tank top. NCG designed various other pieces of equipment, all of which, like the quarter ramp, were manufactured by the Gdynia shipyard. These include the massive stern door, a guillotine door at weather deck level, ramp covers on deck Nos. 2 and 3, six bulkhead doors, four doors for the special reefer compartment, and movable cardecks and access ramps located in the forepart of No. 3 deck.

Expressing the carrying capacity of a RO/ RO vessel is always problematical. Below deck, the bale capacity is in excess of 45,000 cubic meters, including 500 cubic meters of reefer space. On deck, some 564 TEUs can be carried; the cardecks provide space for more than 300 vehicles.

In the unlikely event of the ship being loaded solely with containers, a capacity of 1,177 TEUs is quoted. In reality, a mix of general cargo, containers, unit loads, and large indivisible items will be carried. In service, Hoegh Banniere will operate within three separate conference groupings: SWAL from Scandinavia, the West Africa Joint Service (NEPH) from North Continental ports, and SCADOA from France.

Discharge ports will include the Tin Can Island RO/RO terminal at Apapa, Nigeria.

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