The largest Canadian-flag ConRo ship was launched in Flensburg, Germany on May 31. Representatives from Oceanex Inc. were in attendance for the naming ceremony and launch of its custom-designed 210-metre-long ConRo vessel. Following the launch, the vessel was hauled to the fitting-out quay, where the final details including the bridge and accommodations block will be installed and the vessel readied for delivery in October. Bernice Hynes, wife of Executive Chairman, Captain Sid Hynes, christened the Oceanex Connaigra, blessing both the ship and all who sail on it.

The ship is being built by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) and will set new standards for innovation, flexibility, and environmental protection. Construction of the Oceanex Connaigra began with first steel cutting 8 months ago, following four years of design and planning to ensure the ship will not only provide optimum performance and reliability in the harsh weather conditions off Canada’s east coast, but will also meet the company’s requirements for the next 30 years. Oceanex Executive Chairman, Captain Sid Hynes, says “the Oceanex Connaigra represents a considerable investment and an essential element of our company’s strategy to meet the needs of our clients throughout Eastern Canada. Furthermore, we are thrilled to build a ship that is classed by DNV as a “clean ship” and will be a world leader in energy efficiency and environmental protection.”

With a deadweight of 19,300 tonnes and 13,700 square metres of available space, the Oceanex Connaigra is designed to carry containers varying in size from 20 feet to 53 feet, as well as trucks, trailers, cars, and over-dimensional cargo. With moveable vehicle decks and the addition of a wide, reinforced side ramp, the ship will be one of the most versatile ConRo vessels in the country. Ice-classed, it is also equipped with anti-roll stability tanks and a gyro-controlled active fin stabilizer system “to ensure we have the most stable platform that is reasonably possible” says Hynes, “further guaranteeing our ability to continue with Oceanex’s proud 99-per-cent on-time performance standard, cargo safety, and crew comfort.”

Both Oceanex and FSG have placed the highest value on environmental performance for this new-build project. Because of her optimal lines, the new ship will use 30 per cent less fuel than comparable size ships, thereby reducing C02 emissions by about 20,000 tonnes per year. With her innovative new waste gas de-sulphurisation plant, the Oceanex Connaigra already meets stricter environmental regulations due to take effect in 2015.

Delivery of the Oceanex Connaigra to the Newfoundland service is expected in the fall of 2013 at which time it will join the current Oceanex fleet composed of the MV Cabot, the Oceanex Sanderling, and the Oceanex Avalon.

Oceanex Inc., a privately owned short-sea shipping company, is a leading player in the east coast transportation industry. Oceanex provides full inter-modal transportation services between Mexico, the United States, and mainland Canada to the island of Newfoundland. Oceanex further serves over land all points in Newfoundland from St. John’s daily.

Flensburg Schiffbau, founded in 1872, has built an outstanding reputation for its work. The shipyard has delivered over 750 ships to date, concentrating on specialized and custom-built vessels, including ferries, freighters, RoRo and RoPax vessels, research vessels, offshore service and supply vessels, offshore jack-up crane ships, and various types of naval ships.