Australia: Alcoa, Gearbulk Celebrate Naming of Dual-purpose Cargo Vessel

Australia -  Alcoa, Gearbulk Celebrate Naming of Dual-purpose Cargo Vessel

Officials from Alcoa of Australia and international shipping company Gearbulk Australasia gathered at Alcoa’s Kwinana shipping facility on Friday 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.

World Maritime News Staff, February 27, 2012; Image: Gearbulk