One of the Chinese built offshore industry vessels currently trading in the maritime world is the 2003 built anchor handling vessel SOVEREIGN.
She was built at CIMC Raffles Offshore Shipyard at Yantai, China for Klyne Tugs Ltd at Lowestoft, UK as ANGLIAN SOVEREIGN christened on 27th August, 2003 where she traded until 2007 of which she was sold to J.P. Knight (Caledonian) Ltd retaining the same name.
Leaving Aberdeen, Scotland back to October 2011.
She was part of the fleet of Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV) that operated on behalf of the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) that was launched from 1993 through 2011. The first vessels of the UK’s ETV fleet were introduced in 1994 following the recommendations of Lord Donaldson’s report ‘Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas’ published in May 1994 following the tanker BRAER aground with oil spill of off the coast of Shetland, Scotland. Klyne Tugs Ltd of Lowestoft took over the ETV contract in 1999, and in February 2001 signed an eight-year contract to own and operate a four ETV vessel fleet, which in 2006 was extended by two years, to run until September 2011.
ETV’s were based in strategic locations around the UK, with two covering the south coast of England, at Falmouth, Cornwall and Dover,Kent, and 2 in Scottish waters, at Stornoway, Western Isles (the Outer Hebrides), and Lerwick in the Northern Isles (Shetland and Orkney)
Withdrawing the ANGLIAN SOVEREIGN with the Stornoway-based ANGLIAN PRINCE along with 2 vessels covering England’s south east coast was expected to save £32m over four-and-a-half years, the UK government said in 2010.
During August 2012 SMIT announced the addition of a further two large vessels to its anchor handling tug fleet, one of them was UNION SOVEREIGN with 184 tonnes bollard pull. In 2013 she was spotted wearing Grey Hull at Remontowa Shipyard, Gdansk at Poland as the UNION SOVEREIGN homeported at Antwerp, Belgium (BEL) with Smit Transport, Belgium as managers part of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V (Group).
On 15th September 2008 Boskalis offered €1.11 billion for fellow Dutch maritime company Smit International (SMIT). Despite the offer being promptly rejected by Smit’s board, Boskalis subsequently built a stake of over 25% in the firm and expressed a continuing desire to buy a number of its business units. A revised offer of €1.35 billion was accepted by Smit in January 2010, with Boskalis declaring its offer unconditional that March.
And she was renamed as SOVEREIGN
And finally on Thursday 30th November, 2023 SOVEREIGN made her maiden call at Valletta berthing at Pinto 3 Wharf entering at 0737 hrs after she was nearly a month anchored OPL Malta.
She left Valletta the same day at 1904 hrs bound to OPL Malta once again.
Pinto 3 Wharf is part of Valletta Cruise Port.
Valletta Cruise Port – For more information about Valletta Cruise Port kindly visit their website – www.vallettacruiseport.com