Port of Brownsville enjoys a week of firsts Business: Facility receives largest shipment, new vessel from Asia. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Port of Brownsville enjoys a week of firsts Business: Facility receives largest shipment, new vessel from Asia.

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Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2002 12:00 am

By Jessica Rocha

The Brownsville Herald

The Port of Brownsville made its own history this week, receiving its largest

one-ship delivery on Monday. One day later, another vessel arrived from Asia,

marking its first trip to the U.S.

The vessel Nordmoritz arrived Monday and dropped off a hefty 57,600 metric

tons of bulk iron ore products. It was the heaviest load ever handled at the

port.

Its scheduled to leave today.

German Rico, the ports marketing director, said the increasing size of

shipments into the port prove the need to deepen the ports entry.

We are seeing more ships out of production which can carry more volume,

tonnage-wise, Rico said.

The Brownsville Navi-gation District currently is working to secure federal

funding to dredge the first seven miles of the port to 55 feet from 42 feet.

It would make it the deepest port in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rico said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a study that would

estimate the cost of the project.

If we are a port that isnt deep enough for it to come in, then of course

they are going to come into an alternative port, Rico said.

On Christmas Eve, the Indonesia-built Eboni vessel docked at the Port of

Brownsville and unloaded 10,400 metric tons of steel coil. It was the ships

maiden voyage to the United States. The newly constructed Eboni was completed

in October.

Before arriving at Browns-ville, the ship picked up cargo in South Korea in

the port of Pohang and then spent more than a month at sea before arriving

at Veracruz, Mexico, then to Brownsville.

The ship was scheduled to leave Friday night for New Orleans and Tampa, Fla.,

before heading back to Asia.

The modern shipping vessel weighs 43,000 metric tons and is 195 meters long,

32 meters wide. Aside from the state-of-the-art engine and machinery, it also

has a sauna, swimming pool and gym for its 22 crewmembers.

Its like you have a new car, Captain Kolega Slavko said.

Much of the boats piloting is more automated than ever before. While large

radar monitors, constant satellite communication and other monitoring devices

help the captain and his crew manage the boat, the boats actual steering

wheel resembles an Atari joystick.

The boat was designed to cruise at a speed of 14 knots per hour. In the engine

room, massive generators, engines and a boiler burn 34 metric tons of fuel oil

during one day of travel.

Its travelling expenses amount to close to $15,000 per day.

The Eboni could be in service another 20 years if maintained correctly, Savko

said.

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