WESMAR (Western Marine Electronics) announced that the $1.2m contract they have to equip Egyptian built vessels with their all stainless steel counter rotating dual prop bow thrusters for highly controlled maneuvering in restricted situations, is progressing on schedule despite the political unrest in Egypt. The 100-meter Watania 202 has entered service in the Nile River, joining Wantania 201, which launched late last year.
Both vessels are part of the Nile Cargo Project, which is on target to restore commercial barge travel along the Nile River and relieve Egypt’s highway congestion and reduce high transportation costs.The entire project will eventually see 62 of these state-of-the-art, fuel efficient, and environmetnally friendly vessels on the Nile, says WESMAR President Bruce H. Blakey.
“It is a huge undertaking projected to transport up to 15 million tons of goods along the Nile every year. Each of the 62 new-generation vessels will carry 1000 tons, which is equal to the load of 50 trucks. The Bow Thrusters will provide the ability to safely maneuver in crowded harbors and narrow waterways. They will be particularly important for loading and off loading operations,” said WESMAR’s Regional Sales Manager Aziz Hakimi, onsite for the launching of both the Wantania 201 and 202. “Work has continued undisturbed during the recent political unrest, on the vessels that are currently under construction at the Alexandria shipyard in Egypt,” said Aziz.
“The contract includes an additional eight Vessels with WESMAR equipment
. Wantania 203 and 204 are 80 to 90% complete, according to Ahmed Ahmady, Chief Engineer for the Project.
From a historical perspective the Nile Cargo project is also significant. It re-opens shipping along the Nile River, after 40 years of dormancy.