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KIUNGA   CHIEF

KIUNGA CHIEF

Departing Brisbane on 09.03.2006.
Built: 1999
DWT: 6225

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Kiunga Chief reminds me of a little not so exotic river port about 500 miles up the Fly River in PNG.
Any background on this vessel? must have something to do with PNG with that name.
 

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Kiunga Chief, owners Laurabada Shipping Services, Flag PNG. Managed by Steamships Trading Co, Port Moresby IMO 9195119. Chartered by a mining company (Tedi?) in PNG.
 

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Ok-Tedi Copper Mine, I assume these shallow draft vessels were built to carry copper concentrate down the Fly River to the Gulf of Papua where there was/is a ship to ship loading facility?
 

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Kiunga, a port 500 miles up the Fly River on the south coast of PNG. At Kiunga there is a "pool" in which this ship, being the largest to navigate this far upriver, can just turn about around to make the return trip downriver. At this port the river can rise 10metres in 4 hours, due to heavy rainfall in the mountainous hinterland, making for some interesting downriver navigation. A usual casualty being boats, lights and other ships side impedia being ripped off by the trees as the ship careers around the bends on the surge.

She carries semi processed nickel ores to the mill in Newcastle NSW, initially what came off the top of the mine (mountain) was gold and silver deposits. The upriver trip, acids for the processing and explosives for the mining in addition to general supplies for the township. A bumpy sea passage southbound to Newcastle in a bluff shaped boat designed for river nav. even when tracking inside The Great Barrier Reef.
 

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Well done Sinisa for starting this expanding story . With a loaded draft of 4.7 metres !5'5" must indeed make for a hairy ride upriver on a flood tide. See the website of Steamships Trading, a Swire company. With a Papuan Master in command of a ship in the fleet too.
 

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Designed by Conan Wu & Associates of Singapore, as was Hiri Chief and .Goada Chief, which is more like a landing craft with loading ramp at the bow. Swire having an interest in Steamships Trading as noted above.
I have drawn model plans of Goada and Hiri Chief.
 

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