Safmarine names first new ‘Big White’

Nov 22, 2004
Author: P&S

Safmarine announced the name for its first replacement ‘Big White’ container ship earlier today, following a naming ceremony held at the Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark on Saturday (20 November 2004).

The new vessel, hull number L194 was named Safmarine Nomazwe by Mrs Andrea van Wyk, wife of Rian van Wyk, managing director of Colors Fruit (Pty) Ltd.

The new ship, which will be deployed on the South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS) from December as a replacement for one of the original Big Whites, has a length of 266m, a width of 37m and an official capacity of 3,700 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent containers).

picture courtesy Safmarine

Safmarine Nomazwe – the name means ‘Bearer of many nations’ in the Xhosa language, is powered by an 8-cylinder HSD Wärtsilä Sulzer diesel engine developing 45,700 kW at 102 revolutions per minute – the equivalent of 62,200 BHP.

The ship carries a crew of 15 (compared with up to 40 on the earlier Big Whites) and her initial commander is Captain Leon Peter Strydom, with Stanley N Broers as chief engineer. The ship is registered in London.

Safmarine will introduce two similar ships on the SAECS service, with sister company Maersk Sealand providing another, the Lars Maersk which is already heading for South Africa on her maiden voyage. Lars Maersk is due in Cape Town later this week and in Durban on 25 November.

P&O Nedlloyd will also provide two newbuildings and the German line DAL one for a six-ship SAECS fleet. The seven ships currently employed on this service, SA Helderberg, SA Sederberg, SA Winterberg, Maersk Constantia (the former SA Waterberg), City of Cape Town, Heemskerck and the DAL Kalahari will move to other services.

In the case of the Safmarine vessels it is a possibility that the four ships will transfer to the SAFARI service on which Safmarine and Maersk Sealand will go it alone from next year, after MSC announced its withdrawal when the contract ends. There is some speculation in Europe however that the four ships may transfer to the intermediate South Africa – Europe service.

According to reports DAL Kalahari has been sold to MSC for a figure believed to be US 19 million, but this has still to be confirmed.

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