February 24, 2012

New 45,000 tonne swan sets sail

Officials from Alcoa of Australia and international shipping company Gearbulk Australasia gathered at Alcoa’s Kwinana shipping facility today to celebrate the naming and maiden voyage of the 45,000 tonne MV Kuljak Arrow, a dual-purpose cargo vessel.
The vessel will supply caustic soda to Alcoa’s Western Australian Operations under a new 10-year contract between the parties. As part of the contract, the vessel, which previously transported dry bulk cargoes, was converted to also transport caustic soda, with the voyage to Kwinana the first since the conversion.
Alcoa’s Manager Contract Services and Logistics, John Oliver, said Alcoa was pleased to continue its long association with Gearbulk under this contract that allowed for very efficient use of the vessel.
“Previously, many caustic shipments to Alcoa would travel to the next port of call empty, but under this arrangement, and with the dual capability of the Kuljak Arrow, the vessel can make return journeys with a dry bulk cargo,” Mr Oliver said.
Present for the ceremony was Alcoa Education Officer, Selena Duncan. Ms Duncan was one of around 130 Alcoa employees who suggested names for the vessel as part of a competition conducted by Gearbulk and Alcoa to mark the significant event.
Her suggestion of Kuljak, which is an Aboriginal word for black swan, won.
Ms Duncan said the name struck her as appropriate because it combined Gearbulk’s desire for a link to Aboriginal culture with a bird on Western Australia’s coat of arms, which is also synonymous with Perth, the Swan River and life in Western Australia.
In line with shipping tradition, the naming was combined with the appointment of the vessel’s sponsor - a female civilian who bestows good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard.
Gearbulk’s Vice President, Geir Osland, said, “We at Gearbulk are extremely happy to extend the long standing relationship between our organisations to include transportation of caustic soda.”

“This has been endorsed by appointment of Mrs Wendy Oliver, wife of Alcoa’s John Oliver, as the vessel's sponsor.”

The Kuljak Arrow will depart Kwinana next week with a dry bulk cargo destined for China, just as the new contract intended.
- Ends -

About Gearbulk
Gearbulk is an international shipping company providing high quality transportation services for various industrial sectors.  The company operates the world's largest fleet of open hatch gantry craned vessels as well as open hatch jib craned vessels, specifically designed and equipped to transport unitised cargoes such as forest products, non-ferrous metals and steel.  Gearbulk is also involved in the transportation of conventional bulk cargoes and in terminal operations.
Note: The word Arrow features in all Gearbulk vessels.
About the MV Kuljak Arrow
Carrying capacity (approx.) – 45,000 metric tonnes
Deadweight (vessel’s carrying capacity with crew and supplies) – 46,900 metric tonnes
Length overall (LOA) - 189.99 metres      
Beam (breadth of vessel) 32.26 metres      
Built – 2003, converted 2012
Crew 23
Media contacts:
– Geir Osland, 0419 896 168
Alcoa – Jane McGuire, 0410 694 676