The Knock Nevis is a Norwegian owned supertanker, formerly known as Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking. She is 458 metres (1504 feet) in length and 69 m (226 ft) in width, making her the largest ship in the world. She was built between 1979 and 1981, damaged during the Iran-Iraq War, and refloated in 1991.
Knock Nevis has a deadweight of 564,763 tonnes and a summer displacement of 647,955 t when laden with nearly 650,000 m³ (4.1 million barrels) of petroleum. She sits 24.6 metres in the water when fully loaded, which makes it impossible for her to navigate even the English Channel, let alone man-made canals at Suez and Panama.
The supertanker was built at Sumitomo Corporation's Oppama shipyard in Japan for a Greek owner who refused to take delivery of the vessel due to extensive vibration issues related to faulty gear design. Following an unsuccessful arbitration against the yard, the vessel was sold to Chinese interests. The unfinished ship was bought by a Hong Kong shipping magnate Tung Chao Yung (shipping line OOCL) who had her extended by several metres, thus increasing her load-carrying capacity and making her the largest ship ever built. The ship was finally floated two years later and named Seawise Giant. This is a pun on the name of the owner, who abbreviates his name as C. Y. Tung. Tung Chao Yung experienced significant financial difficulties as a result of the lengthening and was eventually supported through contacts with the government of the People's Republic of China .
At first, she operated between the Middle East and the USA but from about 1986 she was used as a floating storage ship and transhipment terminal in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. In May, 1988, the ship was attacked and heavily damaged by bombs dropped from Iraqi jets while lying at the Iranian Hormuz terminal in the Strait of Hormuz.
At the end of the Iran-Iraq War in late 1989, the wreck (which had by then been towed to Brunei) was bought by a Norwegian limited liability partnership ("KS-company") managed by Norman International. They had the wreck repaired by the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore, and renamed Happy Giant. However in 1991, before the repairs were completed, the KS-company became managed by Norwegian shipping company Jørgen Jahre, and the vessel was delivered from Keppel Shipyard as the Jahre Viking.
During the late 1990s, the majority of the KS-company was bought by Norwegian shipowner Fred Olsen through his company First Olsen Tankers.
In March 2004, the ship was sent by her new owner, Fred. Olsen Production a.s (FOP), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Olsen Tankers, to the shipyard Dubai Drydocks to be refitted as a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO). There, she was given her current name, Knock Nevis. The ship is now permanently moored in the Qatar Al Shaheen oil field in the Persian Gulf, operating as a FSO.
Name: Knock Nevis
IMO No: 7381154
Ex: Jahre Viking-2004; Happy Giant-1991 Seawise Giant-1989
Status: In service as FSO.
Flag: Norway (NIS)
DWT: 564,761 ( After reconstructing )
Builder: Sumitomo H.I. (1016)
Owner: First Olsen Tankers Pte. Ltd.
Engine Type: Sumitomo Stal-Laval AP steam turbines, 50.000 PS, 37300 kW by 85 RPM
From The Tribune:
...To quote KPS Kang, a Chandigarh youth, back after a stint as Chief Officer aboard her. "When you work as Chief Officer on the world’s biggest ship your responsibilities are bigger in every sense of the word". In his case it meant looking after cargo, discharge and maintenance of 46 tanks and 31,541 square metres of deck.
At sea, specially when negotiating rocky straits and shallow waters, the need for constant depth current monitoring is that much greater. And at port, or what substitutes as port, single-buoy moorings in the open sea or ship-to-ship transfer of cargo entails a lot of risk. The risk of accidents or spillage is much higher than with ships working out of safe harbours.
In tacit recognition of this and her sheer size, the Jahre Viking has been designated in the class of ‘worst-case scenarios’ by the US Coast Guard, prompting strict international monitoring and compensatory vigilance on the part of her crew and a gobye to the occasional perk like a Singapore sling to a setting tropical sun. (Following the Exxon Valdez disaster off the coast of Alaska blamed on its drunk captain, most tankers adopted a no-alcohol policy).
Surprisingly, for a ship her size, the Jahre Viking packs in a rather small crew of 40, about the same number as aboard two Air India Jumbos. And all of these are of non-Norwegian origin. In fact, barring the occasional Russian junior officer, all officers, including her captain, are Indians. The crew is almost entirely Filipino.
For more pictures of the Knock Nevis, CLICK HERE