Harland and Wolff’s reputation as a ship repair facility was reinforced in May with the unexpected arrival of hybrid ro-ro container vessel Oceanex Connaigra (2013/26,800gt) from St John’s, Canada. Built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft and launched in May 2013, this vessel entered service in October 2013 between Montreal and St John’s with a three-day passage time. She has capacity for 1,300TEU or 6,200 lane metres across five decks.
The vessel suffered a propeller malfunction in November 2013, resulting in her withdrawal from service for more than two months and a dry-docking in Boston. The problem, however, recurred and she sailed for Belfast to be dry-docked, arriving on 1 May and departing on 12 June, as there were reportedly no available dry docks on the American Eastern Seaboard. H&W also completed work refurbishing the 1974-built Blackford Dolphin on 17June as part of a contact which was worth in excess of £100 million. SM