APRIL 19, 2013 — Quebec's Groupe Desgagnés and its Relais Nordik subsidiary held a christening today at the Port of Sept-Îles for the latest newbuild to join the group's fleet M/V Bella Desgagnés. And if there were some sighs of relief all around, that would be understandable. Bella Desgagnés is the ship that the group had to tow still unfinished from Croatian shipbuilder Brodogradiliste Kraljevica when the shipyard launched bankruptcy proceedings (see earlier story).
The ship was finished at the Palumbo Shipyard in Naples, Italy, and left Naples on March 22, 2013. She arrived in Halifax, N.S., April 9 after a challenging delivery voyage on which she encountered heavy weather that included near-hurricane conditions.
The new vessel has been specially designed for and dedicated to the maritime service of Anticosti Island and the Lower North Shore and today's christening took place after a familiarization tour during which the ship stopped in all ports she will be serving, allowing the region's residents and users to be the first to discover her.
Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu , president and CEO of Desgagnés, said he was "very excited at the idea that in addition to having visited the ship, the residents will soon be able to experience it fully and appreciate its qualities and added value."
The Bella Desgagnés, 97.1 meters long and 19.35 meters wide, has operational and maximum drafts of 4.2 m and 4.6 m respectively. She can comfortably accommodate 381 passengers with her 459 aircraft-type seats, which offer greater incline and footrests. The Bella Desgagnés also offers a total of 160 berths in 63 cabins ranging from 10.5 to 16 m2, all with private facilities, and of which two 24 sq.m cabins are suitable for passengers with reduced mobility. It has a 112-seat cafeteria and an 88-seat dining room.
She has cargo capacity for 125 containers and is equipped with a crane offering a lifting capacity of 40 mt with a boom 35 meters long.
The vessel has been built to SOLAS 2009 regulations and has also been reinforced to have superior capabilities for navigation in ice and is classed Ice 1AFS. All security, navigation, propulsion and mechanical systems are monitored by more than 3,700 operating indicators and alarms distributed throughout the ship, in addition to being equipped with a monitoring system of 50 cameras.
It is powered by two 2,000 kW azimuth thrusters, each powered by two electric motors of 2,200 kW each, and equipped with two 800 kW bow thrusters. It is also equipped with a dynamic positioning system (DPS) for greater ease to navigate and maneuver safely.
Her engines are IMO Tier II compliant, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the ship holds its "Green Passport", certified by Lloyd's Register, detailing the materials used in its construction.
The Bella Desgagnés required over 1.5 million hours of work, the development of nearly 6,000 separate drawings, more than 50 tons of paint and approximately 320 km of electrical wires.
Desgagnés declared being highly confident that they have put every effort necessary to build this vessel to meet the needs and expectations of the marine service users.