The Netherlands-based semi-liner operator Universal Africa Lines (UAL) has received the 8,600 dwt multipurpose ship UAL TEXAS. Owned and managed by UAL’s compatriot Nescos BV, the ship is the fourth unit of the Groot-designed ‘Eco Trader’ type. The UAL TEXAS follows her earlier sister UAL HOUSTON, delivered in December 2012.
The Eco Trader series consists of two pairs of vessels: The UAL AFRICA and UAL BODEWES were delivered in 2011 and 2012, respectively, as 119m long vessels with a deadweight of 8,300 tons. The later two ships, UAL HOUSTON and UAL TEXAS are slightly larger variants of the type. Lengthened to 128m, these two units have a deadweight of about 8,600 tons.
All four ships have been built in the Netherlands at Bodewes Hoogezand shipyard. They feature a distinctive patented Groot-bow which is supposed to improve vessel performance and thus bunker consumption in moderate or rough sea conditions.
The UAL TEXAS has a nominal container intake of about 310 teu. The ship is however not primarily built to carry containers, but rather a mix of various breakbulk and project loads. It is equipped with two portside-mounted 60-ton cranes that can work in tandem to hoist heavy cargo.
Universal Africa Lines has assigned the new ship to its North Europe to West Africa multipurpose service.