Following the successful dry docking of the Bass Island Line (BIL) vessel John Duigan in Sydney yesterday and investigation of the damaged stern tube seal, preliminary evidence of significant bearing failures have been identified.
Pending a full assessment by engineers and part manufacturers, it is anticipated that this will lead to a minimum 3 week delay with resumption of service now forecasted for late July as specialised parts are sourced globally.
TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said further interim freight solutions are being implemented to ensure continuity of service and sustainability.
“We are continuing to arrange alternate shipping arrangements during this period to support shipping services to the King Island community and maintain critical freight supply chains,” said Mr Donald.
“As we’ve previously stated, we will be using this time in dry dock to bring forward planned maintenance as part of standard vessel servicing processes to mitigate future service disruption. This will now include targeted works on both the port and starboard propeller shaft bearings and seals,” said Mr Donald.
Mr Donald said dry dock space had been made available to the John Duigan for the extended time.
“Since the John Duigan was launched in May 2018, its performance has been of a very high standard, maintaining responsiveness to increasing demands. During the 2019-2020 financial year the vessel has completed 120 sailings, moving more than 79,000 tonnes of freight for the King Island community. This was an increase on the 102 sailings and 62,599 tonnes moved during 2018-2019.
“Whilst the requirement for maintenance and repairs is in the nature of shipping, I would like to thank the King Island community for their understanding and thank my team for continuing to ensure we deliver a sustainable and reliable service through a cooperative approach with our fellow Bass Strait Island Shippers network,” said Mr Donald.
“We apologise to the community for the disruption and we are committed to ensuring all stakeholders are informed as we work towards confirming a return to service date for the John Duigan,” said Mr Donald.