Mexico’s state-controlled Exportadora de Sal SA (ESSA), one of the world’s largest salt exporters with a 10-million-ton annual production, has ordered a new shallow-draft self-unloading salt carrier from Nantong Rainbow shipyard in China. The 142-meter long, 4.87 meter draft, 15,500 deadweight ABS-classed vessel was designed by Shanghai TianYi Ship Engineering Company and will replace part of ESSA’s existing tug-barge fleet to shuttle salt from its Guerrero Negro production facility to the Cedros Island export terminal off Baja California. It is estimated this new vessel will reduce the per ton cost of salt transported by over 30%.
The open-hold twin-belt self-unloading vessel will feature twin diesel-electric-driven azimuth thrusters and a bow thruster.
ConsideringESSA’s export facility is situated in one of Mexico’s most ecologically-sensitive national reserves, this vessel also has the highest ABS environmental class notation +A1, E, +AMS, +ACCU, POT +AT(BS+4.0), CPS, FL(25)*, RES*, SLAM-B*, ENVIRO+, UWILD, and MLC-ACCOM.
“It is a privilege to be a part of an area that is of such ecological significance both to Mexico and globally. ESSA takes its responsibility to guard its protection very seriously and this commitment is the driving factor behind the decision to invest in this ambitious newbuild programme. This advanced eco-vessel type will further reduce the impact of operations and help safeguard the delicate eco-system of the Guerrero Negro area while still supporting ESSA’s business activities, which are key to the economic development of the local community” commented Mr. Daniel Couttolenc, Director of Operations, ESSA.
Mr. Couttolenc continued, “The shallow-draft 15,000 dwt ABS-classed vessel will incorporate unique design features making it one of the most advanced and environmentally “friendly” ship-types in the world. This is a key consideration for ESSA as it strives to carry out operations in a manner that is sensitive to the very special environment it works within.”
The vessel was contracted by Corretaje Maritimo Sud American Ltd through a public tender earlier this year and will be delivered in the first half of 2016.