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Maiden Voyage

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USea Wollongong

At the beginning of March, a ship proudly carrying the name Wollongong sailed through the heads of Port Kembla Harbour.

The "MV U-Sea Wollongong" berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal in the first week of March to load 60,000 tonnes of coal from the NRE Wongawilli Colliery prior to its 21 day journey to India.

The vessel is owned by Wollongong based mining company Gujarat NRE. Arun Jagatramka, who is Gujarat NRE's Executive Chairman, said the naming of the first of his fleet of bulk carriers was another significant milestone in the companys journey since they purchased the first mine in Wollongong in 2004.

"Owning our own ship gives us continuity and reliability of operations to meet our commitments to our customers back to India," he said.

The 200 x 32 metre ship, with a dead weight of almost 62,000 tonnes, was built in Oshima Shipyards, Japan (near Nagasaki), launched in April last year and was delivered in June. For its voyage from China to Port Kembla it had a crew of 20 with Captain Jeffereson P. Galam at the helm.

Port Kembla Port Corporation Deputy Harbour Master Roger Kirk was on hand, to present the captain with a plaque to commemorate the maiden voyage. A number of Gujarat employees and Coal Terminal staff went on board the vessel to celebrate the occasion.

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