Repairs to Ukranian ship begin

JOSH NYMANAlbany Advertiser

Repair works on a damaged Ukrainian ship that has been berthed at Albany Port for the past two months began last week.

The three-year-old vessel EIT Palmina, which was towed from Fremantle after its propeller broke off the WA coast in early July, will receive a new 17-tonne propeller.

On Monday, September 3, the ship’s forehead ballasts were filled with water to lift the aft end so engineers and tradesmen could remove the rudder and assess the bearing condition.

The crew, assisted by a special temporary frame to hold the removed rudder, are required to install a new tail shaft, propeller and blades and remount the rudder before the ship can motor out of port under its own steam.

Albany Port Authority harbourmaster Sean Bolt said the new tail shaft assembly had to be transported from Germany to Albany.

Repair works were expected to take about two weeks.

“It is very rare, but it does happen sometimes if the prop or tail shaft has some sort of manufacturer’s fault,” Mr Bolt said of the damage.

“None of the other ports (in WA) had spare berths available for a three-month period, which is why it ended up here.”

The vessel’s full complement of 18 Ukrainian crew are still in Albany waiting for their ship to be repaired.

The EIT Palmina was built in 2009 and is registered in the Bahamas at the Port of St Johns.

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