Pacific International Lines (PIL) has taken delivery this week, the 27,000 dwt multipurpose vessel KOTA BANGGA. The ship is the last of four sisters that PIL received from China’s Dalian Shipyard since late 2011. PIL has ordered the quartet in addition to four similarly-sized multipurpose ships from Kouan Shipyard, all of which have already been delivered.
With the handover of the KOTA BANGGA, all eight ships of the two series have now phased into PIL’s Far East to Africa mpp service. On this loop they gradually replaced smaller multipurpose ships, so that the service is now maintained by a perfectly homogenous fleet of near-identical vessels.
Since an average round trip on the Asia-WAF service takes about 16 weeks, the eight-ship feet allows PIL to offer fortnightly departures in earch direction. The service however does not operate completely regular fixed-day sailings, since the individual departures’ sailing patterns vary, with some ports served only occasionally or subject to inducement.
The Dalian and Kouan-built Kota-B ships all feature two 100-ton cranes and one 60-ton crane. While the vessels are not real heavy-lifters, they can still handle quite substantial loads, especially since their two main cranes are combinable to lift cargoes of up to 200 tons. The ships’ service speed is about 15 knots and a they provide a container intake of up to 1,440 teu. This figure is however of more theoretical nature, as the ships are not primarily designed to carry standard boxes, but rather a mix of breakbulk and project cargoes, as well as limited numbers of containers.
The newly-delivered ship’s name by translates ‘proud city’ and is made up of the Malay word ‘Kota’ which means ‘city’ and which is the traditional PIL prefix and the Malay ‘Bangga’ for ‘proud’.