[In Pictures] Oceanex Connaigra moves to Belfast Building Dock

Oceanex Inc.’s OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA made her way into Harland & Wolff’s Belfast Building Dock (BBD) around lunchtime today. The 210m long Con-Ro ferry arrived in Belfast last week after a lengthy voyage from Newfoundland, Canada. The ship, which normally links the Newfoundland and Labrador capital St Johns with Montreal (via Quebec), is in Belfast for maintenance work. The overrun of STENA SCOTIA‘s dry docking and a postponed attempt to move OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA yesterday meant that she only entered the building dock today.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA‘s 210m length limits dry docking options on the Eastern Seaboard, hence her trip across the Atlantic to Belfast. Her length is no problem for Harland & Wolff, however, with both the 556m x 93m “main” Belfast Building Dock and 335m x 50.29m Belfast Dry Dock able to accommodate the ship with ease.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

Belfast Harbour booking currently shows that OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA‘s departure is scheduled for September 15, though this may be subject to change. At present Oceanex have her return to service timetabled for September 26 on their website.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

Purpose-built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft in 2013, this is the second time OCEANEX CONNAIGRA has visited Belfast. The ships 1,669 lane metre capacity main deck and tank top can accommodate 95 trailers and 208 cars, while the open upper deck has space for the equivalent of 940 TEU containers.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

Alternatively, if all her decks are used for rolling cargo she can accommodate 2,800 lane metres of trailers. Her total cargo carrying capacity is 19,500 metric tonnes across four fixed and one liftable deck.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

OCEANEX CONNAIGRA is powered by two MAN Diesel engines delivering a combined 16,800kW through a single propeller. This is sufficient for a service speed of 20kts. Four Wartsila thrusters, two at the bow and two at the stern, aid manoeuvrability in port.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA in Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. MASTERMAN can be seen providing assistance astern. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA in Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. MASTERMAN can be seen providing assistance astern. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

Like other FSG builds such as W.B. YEATS and SEATRUCK PROGESS (and sisters), FSG constructed OCEANEX CONNAIGRA‘s hull on-site while her superstructure was built in Poland. Having been towed by barge to Flensburg, the superstructure was then hoisted atop the hull and welded to complete the structure of the ship.

OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. MASTERMAN can be seen providing assistance astern. FARSET and MICHAEL FRANCIS can be seen following behind. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.
OCEANEX CONNAIRGRA approaches Belfast Building Dock on Sept 7, 2020. MERCHANTMAN can be seen providing assistance astern. FARSET and MICHAEL FRANCIS can be seen following behind. Copyright © Steven Tarbox.

With Belfast Building Dock occupied, STENA SUPERFAST VIII and STENA SUPERFAST VII are expected to use Belfast Dry Dock (BDD) when they dry dock in the coming weeks. STENA ESTRID will provide cover for the pair on the Belfast – Cairnryan route.

Oceanex Connaigra promotional video