The semi-submersible heavylift ship Tai An Kou and its cargo of two 65-long-ton lift capacity container cranes presented an odd profile as they seemed to ‘crouch down’ on the Mississippi River recently to clear bridges on their way to the Port of New Orleans’ Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.

Purchased for $26.5 million from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd, based in Seoul, South Korea, the cranes will have a 110ft lift height and a 167ft outreach when fully installed at the terminal. However, they were loaded aboard the 156m by 32.2m Tai An Kou at Masan, South Korea in a deeply lowered position for the 53-day, 15,700-mile journey to the USA.

The ship itself, which incorporates a highly sophisticated ballast system, can submerge to the extent that it can take 9m of water over the cargo deck. Designed by Vuyk Engineering, and completed in 2003, the COSCO vessel is powered by twin Siemens Schottel azimuthing pods of 5,000kW output each while two Schottel type STT 500 bow thrusters are used.

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