Friday, August 12, 2016

Hueneme Welcomes 1st Post-Panamax Ship

By Mark Edward Nero

A paradigm shift in how the widened Panama Canal is expected to bring a new class of vessels to the Port of Hueneme was commemorated recently as Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines company leaders and port officials greeted the port’s first post-Panamax ship.

Post-Panamax, or vessels that previously could not fit through the Panama Canal, is the new standard vessel size based on the width of new locks that recently opened at the Canal.

The Port of Hueneme says the maiden voyage of the M/V Thalatta marks a new milestone to support the port’s and its industry partners’ environmental agenda. Thalatta is one of newest high efficiency roll on/roll off HERO class vessels designed to increase capacity and flexibility while reducing emissions.

The ship is fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system that reduces sulfur emissions to below 0.1 percent in compliance with environmental regulations and removes 70 percent of particulate matter, which also significantly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions.

Using a new scrubber based technology, the vessel generates a steam based release at berth instead of diesel exhaust, making the vessel one of the greenest in the global ro/ro fleet.

The Thalatta measures almost 200 meters (56 feet) long, 36.5 meters (120 feet) wide and features five liftable car decks, which allows for multiple configurations and a wide variety of customer cargo. The vessel can transport up to 8,000 car equivalent units. With the increased beam, the Post Panamax vessels carry an additional 2,000 ro/ro units.

Thalatta is the second in a total of eight HERO post-Panamax vessels that commenced service for WWL in 2015.

Thalatta’s sister ship Themis is anticipated to arrive at the Port of Hueneme in September.