January 21 - The inaugural voyage of the Beluga Houston, the first of the shipping line's P-series multipurpose project carriers, has been completed.
On her maiden voyage, Beluga Houston transported several large reactors from the port of Yokohama, Japan destined for Aratu, Brazil. Each reactor weighed 485 tonnes and measured 21 m in length while three 70 m reactors were loaded in Pyeong Taek, South Korea and two further heavy lift modules were loaded at Mailiao, China.
Beluga Houston was delivered late last year and is the first of 16 new ships for Beluga Shipping with 800 to 1,400 tons crane capacities. These ships will serve the so-called super heavy lift segment, where heavy cargo and project loadings weigh between 500 and 1,400 tonnes. This niche is stable and, according to industry observers, remains a financially attractive and profitable section of the heavy lift sector and is less susceptible to the financial downturn than other heavy lift sectors.
The ships have a deadweight capacity of 20,000 tonnes and an ice classification of Finnish-Swedish 1 A (German E3), combined with a moderate fuel consumption.
According to Beluga, heavy lift shipping lines are seeing an increase in the weight, dimensions and volumes of super heavy lift cargoes. If complete industrial facilities are transported in the course of various project stages, the number of voyages is kept to a minimum. The worldwide demand for ships constructed for such shipping tasks is significant and continues to grow.