A big container ship carrying luxurious vehicles is ablaze within the Atlantic Ocean, and has been burning for a number of days because it caught hearth final Wednesday. As soon as crewed by 22 individuals, the Felicity Ace has since been deserted whereas salvage officers battle the blaze that’s reportedly difficult by the lithium batteries in a number of the vehicles.
The Felicity Ace is a container ship of the corporate Mitsui OSK Strains Ltd and its newest voyage was carrying round 4,000 vehicles for Volkswagen AG, the umbrella firm encompassing Volkswagen, Audi, Bently, Porsche, and extra. Many of those transported have been luxurious electrical vehicles, and Porsche have since confirmed that 1,100 of the vehicles on board have been theirs. In complete, the worth of the vehicles onboard equated to an astonishing $401 million, with the worth of all of the ships’ contents reaching $438 million, in keeping with a latest insurance coverage estimate.
Salvage crews will proceed to try to extinguish the fires, although if the lithium fires are the supply of the inferno, this will likely be a troublesome endeavor. Lithium fires burn for for much longer and require considerably extra water than typical combustion fires. Teslas which have caught hearth lately required as much as 20,000 gallons of water to lastly extinguish.
It’s unclear how the hearth began, although the heavy white smoke billowing from the vessel has diminished in latest days, suggesting an finish might be in sight.
The destruction of so many vehicles comes at a essential level within the ongoing provide chain points that resulted from the pandemic.
“These figures confirmed as soon as once more the precariousness of worldwide provide chains. The incident comes at a foul time for international carmakers who’re in the midst of a provide chain disaster sourcing semiconductors, leading to new delays for brand new vehicles. An occasion like this is not going to do a terrific deal in instilling belief with customers,” mentioned Suki Basi, Managing Director of the Russel Group, in an announcement.
As of February twenty second, the Felicity Ace is assumed to nonetheless be on hearth because it drifts south of the Azores, an archipelago west of Portugal. Two tugboats are on scene spraying water on the vessel, with one other anticipated to reach in the present day, a navy helicopter anticipated to survey the scene on the twenty fourth, and an extra tugboat anticipated on the twenty sixth. It’s at present not leaking oil into the Atlantic Ocean and stays secure, with officers hoping for a fast resolution to the continuing hearth.