Damaged Fremantle Highway arrived at Rotterdam port under new owner

Car carrier Fremantle Highway (IMO 9667344) arrived last Saturday September 23rd in Rotterdam,Netherlands, nearly two months after a fire broke out on the cargo ship on July 26th (IMN August 3rd and other dates). The ship left the Eemshaven in Groningen during the afternoon of September 21st, where it had been moored since early in August. The vessel was towed to Damen Verolme Shiprepair in Botlek, where it will be partially dismantled so that repair work can be carried out. Clean-up and inspections will also be carried out at Damen.

The work was expected to take four or five months.

The fire killed one person and injured several others. The Fremantle Highway had more than 3,700 cars on board at the time of the fire, including nearly 500 electric cars.

The damaged cargo ship is now owned by Netherlands-based Koole Contractors, which specializes in industrial demolition, remediation and wreck removal. It assumed title from the Japanese owner in the aftermath of the fire. Koole has rented a dock from Damen-Verolme for damage analysis.

Gijs Olsthoorn, general manager of maritime projects at Koole, told local media that experts would examine which parts of the structure had been weakened by the heat. Steel loses elasticity when exposed to extreme heat. Koole will then demolish parts of the ship’s structure to prepare it for repairs and new construction. Demolition will likely be limited to the upper part of the ship since the lower decks suffered little damage.

This presumably is the key to Koole’s likely plan to sell the ship back to the car-carrying sector, which at the moment could do with the capacity.

2013-built, Panama-flagged, 59,525 gt Fremantle Highway is listed by Equasis as owned by Luster Maritime / Higaki Sangyo care of Shoei Kisen KK of Imabari, Japan. It is listed as entered with Japan Club (Imabari Office in charge) on behalf of Luster Maritime SA. ISM manager is Wallem Shipmanagement Ltd of Hong Kong, China.