UPDATE: A Wellard spokesperson advised on Friday afternoon that the MV Ocean Outback had received requisite regulatory approvals and has commenced its voyage to South East Asia.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A Wellard Rural Exports vessel which left Fremantle destined for the Middle East earlier this week will be diverted to South East Asia after experiencing engine issues soon after departure.
Wellard Rural Exports released a statement this morning confirming that it is now preparing to sail the MV Ocean Outback to a long-term SE Asian customer after changing its intended destination due to “some concerns about the performance of one of the two engines on the vessel”.
Details of the problem with the engine have not been disclosed but the Wellard statement said that all livestock services on the vessel – feed, water and ventilation – continue to operate as normal.
The company said the cattle on-board remained under the care of an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service accredited veterinarian, two AQIS accredited stockmen and the shipboard crew.
“The welfare of the animal and the crew is our priority so we have taken the decision to sail to South East Asia where our customer continues to require increased numbers of Australian cattle,” Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini said in the statement.
Mr Balzarini said the MV Ocean Outback was designed and constructed with a Dual Propulsion System, including dual independent engines, which enables it to operate on a single engine if required.
Beef Central understands the vessel had only just departed Fremantle when problem occurred, and was destined for Israel.
The change of destination will require a new export approval from the Department of Agriculture, which is currently being applied for. When that approval is granted, the vessel will sail for the new destination.