Feature, Freight News, Sea

Back where she should be thanks to AAL Shipping

[ December 16, 2021   //   ]

She may not look much right now but AAL Shipping is helping to restore the Alma Doepel to her full glory. The heavylift operator freely donated its operational and engineering expertise to help re-launch the 118-year-old Australian sailing ship.

The three-masted topsail schooner was in dry dock for rebuilding, having served the Victoria Community as a youth training vessel with over 4,000 young local cadets to her credit. Approximately AUD $3.5 million and over 80,000 volunteer hours have been spent on returning the Alma Doepel to its former glory, and it is expected to take another two years and AUD $1.5 million to complete the restoration work.

The 31,000-deadweight heavy lift vessel, the AAL Shanghai, was chosen to execute the Alma Doepel operation. She is one of six mega-size MPVs serving the carrier’s Asia to East Coast Australia Monthly Liner Service and was calling in Melbourne to discharge a cargo of heavy lift transformers. After discharging, she was met by a barge carrying the newly refurbished hull of the Alma Doepel and, using her onboard heavy lift cranes, carefully lifted and manoeuvred the historic ship back to water after an eight-year absence.