After a four-month tender process, Shanghai Salvage Company has been awarded the contract to remove the stricken cargo ship Kea Trader from a reef near New Caledonia in the South Pacific, the shipowner Lomar Shipping has announced.
Shanghai Salvage is a marine salvage and wreck removal company with over 60 years of services to the marine and offshore industry.
The 2,194 TEU Kea Trader was only six months old when it ran aground on Durand Reef on July 12, 2017 during a voyage from Papeete, in French Polynesia, to Nouméa, New Caledonia. The ship was loaded with 756 containers and 26 flat-racks at the time.
After several months exposed to the elements, the Kea Trader was declared a total loss and it eventually broke in two during a storm last November, further complicating the salvage.
The U.S. salvage company Ardent was previously hired to undertake cargo removal and anti-pollution operations, which are on-going at the site.
“With detailed methodology for the recovery operation having been approved by the authorities last month, the contract has been concluded,” Lomar Shipping said in a statement on Monday.
“SSC expects to have resources on site within 30 days prior to an exchange of responsibilities with Ardent (the salvor which is presently undertaking cargo removal and anti-pollution operations) to ensure the safeguards to the environment currently in place are maintained during the transition and as the new phase begin,” the statement added.
The 25,293mt deadweight Kea Trader, delivered in January 2017, is registered in Valletta, Malta.