MOL Comfort’s Sister Vessels Receive Safety Upgrades
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) reports that itself, other concerned parties and Lloyd’s Register (LR), which MOL appointed as technical consultant, have conducted a thorough investigation into the causes of the mid-June 2013 hull fracture of the MOL-operated containership MOL Comfort on the Indian Ocean. Also, MOL has extended and will extend all possible cooperation to the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety, which was launched by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
MOL began preventative measures to enhance the safety of six sister vessels immediately after the incident. Measures taken to reinforce the hulls of MOL Celebration, MOL Courage, and MOL Creation were recently completed, and these vessels return to Asia-North Europe service beginning August 10.
The work done on the three containerships aimed to strengthen the hull structures to approximately twice that required by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Japan’s classification society, which conforms to the safety standards of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). ClassNK has confirmed that the work done on these three vessels was executed according to plan. Further, LR expressed its opinion that the structural reinforcement completed for the vessels is considered to be the best preventive measure against a similar failure at present.
MOL Charisma and MOL Competence among three remaining three sister vessels are already at the dockyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and their hull reinforcement will be completed by the end of September to beginning of October. The work for MOL Commitment which was newly delivered this June will be completed by February 2014.