Bigger is better…until it isn’t

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.(대우조선해양) of South Korea is the fourth largest shipbuilding company in the world – two others of the top three are also South Korean, in case you were wondering. Daewoo is the manufacturer of the TI line of supertankers – the largest currently in service in the world.TI_Europe

Daewoo originally built the tankers for Hellespont, but when Euronav NV bought them, they renamed them with the TI- prefix. With a capacity of more than 3 million barrels, and the ability to steam fully laden at an impressive 16.5 knots, these tankers are quite profitable.


And yet…

In an effort to move even more oil, Citgo, Valero and others operating out of Texas wanted Daewoo to build larger and larger tankers.

Now, hard as it may seem to believe, some engineers possess an unfortunate shortcoming – they may design well, but they don’t always get out in the field. This can be a problem when, for instance, they place an access panel to a duct fan precisely where it will be covered by another panel. That sadly leads to the gentle, yet still unbecoming euphemism of “all smarts and no sense”.

Anyway, the engineers who designed the new behemoths failed to take into account a simple fact that prohibited their access to the refineries near Corpus Christi – the overwater roadways simply did not have enough clearance for the giant ships to pass under.

Sadly, the tankers were too big for their bridges.


{The crash is real…in Vietnam…the story is an embellished pun!}



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