Cause Of Crack Discovered

Investigators appear to have identified the cause of a crack that was found on the hull of a NSB Niederelbe containership late last week.

Following a series of ultrasonic tests the owner of the 4,892-teu MSC Monterey (built 2008) issued a statement in which it indicated a defective welding seam is to blame.

In response to the findings the company says it has abandoned plans to repair the vessel at a shipyard and will likely fix the problem on site.

NSB noted adverse weather conditions off Newfoundland, where the containership is now at anchor, have made what it described as the repair procedure “somewhat difficult”.

“Comprehensive preparations have to be made in order to preheat the steel and the ambient temperature as well as to adhere to the cooling rates exactly,” it explained.

The company said repairs will be carried out by a Canadian contractor but supervised by Germanischer Lloyd and will likely take approximately seven days.

At last check the crack on the MSC Monterey, which is charter to Medeteranean Shipping Company, measured 1.5 metres on the main deck and extended approximately 30 centimetres onto the vessel’s outer hull.

According to Equasis and other leading industry databases the containership is flagged in Liberia, classed by Germanischer Lloyd, maintains protection-and-indemnity coverage with the Swedish Club and was built by Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries in Romania.

Observers say the incident will likely fuel growing concerns about the integrity of similar containerships and other vessels that were constructed during the peak of the shipbuilding boom in the late 2000’s since it is not the first to develop a crack in relatively moderate seas.

In June of last year Mitsui OSK Lines’ 8,110-teu MOL Comfort (built 2008) made headlines after it developed hull cracks during a voyage in the Indian Ocean. Many were caught off guard when the ship later split in half and sank since it was modern and not sailing in rough seas.

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