Designed by a Norwegian firm of Naval Architects, Skibskonsulent A/S, for Compania Peruana de Vapores ("CPV) and built, rather slowly, at the Peruvian naval shipyard in Lima. The building proceeded slowly as all components had to be imported.
As originally designed, she had 18T Velle derricks at each hold, those ahead of the superstructure being mounted on bridges into which the hatch covers folded; during construction these derricks were replaced by 3 x 36T Hagglund container cranes but the aft Velle derrick was retained.
She was fitted with the best of everything; the 6RND76 was a genuine Swiss Sulzer, made in Winterthur, she had three Bergen diesels and everything else was in keeping - the best equipment money could buy.
For some reason known only to CPV she had a massive accomodation block, able to accomodate a crew of 52. CNCo made plans to fill it, variously with passengers or with cadets, but this was never done.
December 1986. Delivered as the "Presidente Jose Pardo" to Cia Peruana de Vapores.
October 30th,1987. Arrived at Liverpool on her maiden voyage and was immediately arrested at the suit of the numerous creditors of CPV, who were in severe financial difficulties, and who had been warned by their P&I Club not to bring the ship to Europe.
March 1989. Sold by the order of Admiralty Marshal. CNCo's sealed tender was sucessful. Acquired by J Swire & Sons, trading as China Navigation Co. She was bought for the NZUE run ( a consortium of CNCo.and other lines trading between NZ and the Far East and renamed "Kwangtung III". Registered tonnage now 17,527 tons. Hong Kong flag.
1992. Placed on charter to Woermann, renamed "Woermann Africa". Reverted to "Kwantung III" on termination of the charter. All cargo handling equipment and decking now painted in CNCo's dark red.
1994. Placed on charter to Compagnie General Maritime, renamed "CGM Kwangtung".
1995. Came off charter and reverted to "Kwangtung III". The single stern derrick post was raised above the funnel height and a cross tree added.
April 1999. CNCo. renamed the vessel "Tauranga Chief", and placed in the break-bulk/container trade between Australia and NZ.
Feb 2001. Renamed "Kwangtung", and placed in the Persian Gulf trade.
July 2004. Sold to Greek owners. Renamed "Oel Esteem"
June 2008. Now owned by Princess Maritime Corporation (Cosmoship Management) of Athens, Liberian flag. Renamed "Esteem C"
January 19th.2012. broken up by Jiangmen Yinhu Ship breaking Co., Xinhui.
Events / Stories
Andrew Craig-Bennett writes:
The way in which CNCo came by this ship is perhaps worth recalling.
A flyer for the forthcoming Admiralty Marshal's sale of the ship was faxed to CNCo by Eggar Forrester, who were CNCo's usual brokers for liner types and who were and are in partnership with CW Kellock and Co who were and are the Admiralty Marshal's brokers.
At this point CNCo were very concerned that the NZUE trade (CNCo, MOSK, Nedlloyd) needed a fourth ship and it was CNCo's turn to provide the ship. Consequently we had been quietly looking around for liner type multipurpose tweendeckers, but they tended to have derricks and very inadequate container intake. Eggar Forrester's fax landed on my desk and was promptly swept into the waste paper basketu, as we were snowed under with unsuitable ships and I did not want to waste the Trade Manager (BNS)'s time. Something caused me to pull it out again and I spotted that this ship was different - more beam, much better container capacity - and pottered round to see BNS. We thought she looked worth inspecting and so we asked Brookes Bell to take a look, since they had a Liverpool office. Their report was encouraging so we submitted a proposal to the Board that an offer on the Admiralty Marshal's terms (sealed tender) should be made.
It happened that the morning of the sale coincided with a CNCo Board meeting and so he first item of business was to decide how much to bid. As the board meeting drew to a close, the phone rang with the news that our bid had suceeded, which of course caused all the Directors, not to rejoice at their sucess, but to groan at having probably over-bid!
The ship needed a bit of sorting out, causing CNCo to become familiar with the DIY emporiums of Liverpool, and she was fixed to Maersk for a cargo out to Hong Kong; this turned into three voyages as Mearsk liked her and NZUE was not ready. I think her first Master was Geoff Garrett.
After arriving back in Hong Kong she was docked at HUD, repainted and entered NZUE service.
The "KWANGTUNG" III was bought for the NZUE service, and indeed she spent some of her time in it, but after a while it struck us that we would do better financially by chartering her out and chartering in other ships, so we had a bit of fun tramping her; in the course of this she arrived at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal, ballasting to Galveston to deliver into a charter, just as Ronald Reagan's invasion of Pamana took place. such is the long arm of coincidence that the "HUNAN", on time charter to Torm, arrived at the Atlantic end; thus, of the three ships in CNCo that were capable of going through the Pamana Canal, two were actually held up by the invasion. Our charterers (who were American) sportingly extended the laydays and we got a couple of nice fixtures from them, including a nice job taking the vehicles, other kit, and some men of an Australian Army unit that had been on UN duty in Namibia back to Australia , which positioned us nicely for NZUE again.
The KWANGTUNG, like the ERISKAY, was a lucky ship; things always went right for her, navigationally, mechanically and commercially, and she was also a happy ship.