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On April 28, 2016, a new transport vessel named Guang Hua Kou was launched from the shipyards of Guangdong Shipyard International, Guangdong, China. This ship with a displacement of 98 thousand tons is the largest in the world among vessels of its class. It was built by order of the Chinese state shipping company COSCO Heavy Transport, and it will be used both for military and peaceful purposes.
The cargo deck of the vessel Guang Hua Kou is 211.2 by 68 meters. Filling the ballast water with seawater, the ship can dive into the water so that its deck will be at a depth of only 16 meters. Such ability will allow the vessel to unload and unload other floating equipment, including offshore drilling platforms, deep-sea vehicles for studying the world ocean, small warships requiring repair, etc.
Analogs and predecessors
Like the Chinese “H1183” and American “USN Expeditionary Transfer Dock” for heavy transport vessels, the vessel Guang Hua Kou can be used in the military field. It can carry equipment that will support offshore operations on the sea. After the first-line military ships landed the first wave of assault on the coast, the vessel Guang Hua Kou can approach the coast as closely as possible and quickly unload the second wave of marines on floating armored vehicles.
The vessel is capable of transporting various loads weighing up to 85,000 tons. At the moment, Xin Guang Hua is involved in the contract for the transportation of a part of the drilling platform “Appomattox” from South Korea to the US (Texas). The platform is intended for the development of deposits in the Gulf of Mexico. The transportation contract for the platform is a part of the framework agreement between COSCO and Shell.
The vessel Guang Hua Kou can also be used as a floating dock for inspection and repair of the underwater part of hulls of ships.
It can carry aboard floating craft with limited cruising range: hovercraft, landing craft, helicopters, floating armored vehicles, and much more. Its most important purpose is to transport bulky and heavy cargoes by sea.