Shen Neng 1 (far right) berthed at RG Tanna Coal Terminal berth four on April 3, the same place it is expected to be berthed once arriving back in Gladstone.
Shen Neng 1 (far right) berthed at RG Tanna Coal Terminal berth four on April 3, the same place it is expected to be berthed once arriving back in Gladstone. Kerri-Anne Mesner

Doubts on arrival of Shen Neng 1

WILL IT? Or, won’t it?

They were the questions raised yesterday about whether Shen Neng 1 would come to Gladstone for unloading and repair.

Sources told The Observer the ship may not come to Gladstone, however a Department of Transport spokesperson ,which heads Maritime Safety Queensland, said plans to bring the vessel to Gladstone had not changed at the time of The Observer deadline.

Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Patrick Quirk said a number of measures would be put in place to ensure the ship was brought into Gladstone as safely as possible.

Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, MSQ Gladstone and other organisations were yesterday preparing their plans for their roles in bringing the coal carrier to Gladstone waters.

The plans include the Regional Harbour Master and number of port pilots will board the vessel well prior to entry to ensure full familiarity with the vessel and its handling characteristics in towed conditions.

The vessel would take around 18 to 24 hours to be towed to the port then about another seven hours for it to enter and made secure at number four berth at the RG Tanna Coal Terminal.

It would be berthed during daylight, on or just after high water slack and in wind conditions no more than around 15 to 18 knots.

Five tugs will assist with one tug on stand-by.

The vessel will be monitored at all times through the port vessel tracking service.

During the tow the vessel would be accompanied by the response craft and aircraft will monitor her movements.

Mr Quirk said the strong mix of maritime and industrial skills in the area meant Gladstone was the best place in Australia to undertake initial repairs before the vessel was towed overseas.

He said there were a number of complex legal and commercial issues that needed to be addressed as part of the ongoing process.

Mr Quirk said the ship would remain in Gladstone for a weeks.



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