|This refrigerated fruit juice carrier was built under hull No. 138 by the
Norwegian shipyard Trosvik Verksted A/S, Brevik (near Oslo) and to our knowledge was the
first such vessel ever built in the world. The keel was laid on 30.07.1984 and the
launching took place on 20.12.1984. The vessel was delivered to her owners Atlantic Reefer
Corporation Inc., Monrovia, Liberia on 19.04.1985. She was named "ORANGE
BLOSSOM" and registered under the Liberian flag with home port Monrovia (IMO No:
8407931, official No. 7699, call sign: ELEI6).
The ship was designed to carry orange juice from Brazil to Europe and to the East coast of the United States. Oranges are grown in the Sao Paulo area of Brazil and the juice is loaded in the port of Santos. In Europe the discharge port is Rotterdam and one of the discharge ports in the USA is New York. This trade is controlled by a Brazilian family enterprise and the transport is organised by one of their companies Atlanship S.A. in Switzerland.
The 145 m long hull contains 8 cubical stainless steel tanks to carry 12'000 mt of orange juice in a concentrated form. The cargo tanks are mounted on top of the double bottom and around them is free space, allowing cold air to circulate and cool down the orange juice. To cool down the air, the ORANGE BLOSSOM has four cooling compressors, working with Freon-22 on the direct expansion principle. Electric power is supplied by 3 diesel generator sets from MAN-B&W-Holeby.
The concentrated orange juice is produced in a shore plant in Brazil. The water is extracted from the natural orange juice, until it becomes concentrated about 7-8 times, into a very thick and acidic fluid of a specific gravity of about 1,36. The volume of the juice is now reduced to 1/8 of its original volume, therefore 8 times as much juice can be transported, which means reduced shipping costs.
This pre-cooled concentrate is loaded into the ships tanks and kept at a temperature of minus 10°C during the voyage to prevent deterioration of the juice during the transport. On arrival in the discharge port the juice is discharged to a shore plant and water is added until the orange juice has again gained its natural consistency and is ready for packing and distribution to the consumers.
After the discharge of the juice, the tanks are not cleaned for the ships return voyage to the loading port. To maintain the cargo tanks in immaculate condition, the tanks are kept in cooled down condition and are inerted with nitrogen gas. Therefore during regular service the crew does not need to perform the arduous and time consuming task of tank cleaning, this is only necessary when changing the type of cargo or before any maintenance and inspection work is due.
The building supervision and the technical management was first carried out by Suisse-Outremer Reederei A.G. in Zürich and the commercial exploitation was by Atlanship S.A. In September 1987 Atlanship S.A. in Lausanne (as from 1990 in La Tour-de-Peilz) took over also the technical management of the vessel.