Recently seen in the Panama Canal is the 2009-built chemical/oil tanker Mekong Star, wearing the funnel colours of RIGEL Schiffahrts GmbH & Co KG of Leer, Germany. Established in 1990, RIGEL oversees a fleet of modern chemical/oil tankers (COTs) ranging in size from 10,500dwt to 37,850dwt, with each of the ships representing a German limited partnership.
At 37,836dwt, Mekong Star is one of RIGEL’s larger ships and is also one of four COT 43 class vessels in the fleet, the others being Orinoco Star, Yukon Star and Zambezi Star. All of the 14.5-knot tankers have a cargo capacity of 43,000m3 and feature high-performance cargo and ballast pumps. Multiple cargo tanks allow up to seven different products to be carried. Chartering of the ships is managed by Oceanwide Shipping & Chartering.