World’s largest heavy lift ship debuts and transports Chinese vaccines to Africa

The world’s largest multi-purpose heavy lift ship, the Pilecki, made its debut on Thursday, ferrying Chinese vaccine production equipment from Shanghai to Morocco to help Africa fight COVID-19.

The mission is a joint project of Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company, which owns Pilecki, and vaccine production line supplier Morimatsu Group of China.

It will enable the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, including three with annual production meeting more than 60% of demand on the continent.

The Pilecki was designed and manufactured during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all parties, including shipyard and dock staff, have made every effort to ensure prompt delivery amid the ongoing outbreak. in Shanghai.

The giant ship has a deadweight of around 62,000 tons, with five giant storage areas and a flight deck of nearly 5,000 square meters.

Zhu Dezhang, general manager of the shipping company’s China headquarters, told China Media Group (CMG) that the Pilecki is the third in a series of four vessels and was approved for service via a “cloud transfer” on April 20, three months ahead of schedule.

“Perfect” vessel for long distance shipping

Ji Jiang, a port master of the shipping company, said, “Since the total volume of production equipment is close to 40,000 cubic meters, the shipping requirements are relatively high, especially since ‘they have to transport the entire vaccine factory to the port of destination in one trip. Our ship is therefore perfectly suited to this expedition.

Raised by four hull cranes, the 118 large-scale modules of the vaccine factory were loaded into the ship in an orderly fashion, and the ship’s mega-scale makes it an ideal choice for the operation.

Just hours after the ship left the shipyard, it docked at Shanghai’s Luojing Wharf for loading.

Shanghai Wusong Customs has also introduced preferential measures for seamless connection between logistics and customs clearance and to realize the highest possible speed for transportation from the port to the project operation site via direct unloading and delivery.

Li Daoquan, Deputy General Manager of Morimatsu Group, said, “It took our company about six months to complete this project – two months for overall planning, including concept design and detailed design, and four months for construction. manufacturing. And it will take about another two months for final assembly, commissioning and verification after arrival at the site.”

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