Andromeda Industries lose specialised equipment in cargo ship incident

Up ship creek: Andromeda Engineering's Annette Williams and Zelman McLaren can't believe the new test bed is at the bottom of the Pacific. Photo: Peter Hardin
Up ship creek: Andromeda Engineering's Annette Williams and Zelman McLaren can't believe the new test bed is at the bottom of the Pacific. Photo: Peter Hardin

A Moonbi based business have had to drown their sorrows this week, after a new piece of machinery worth over a quarter of a million dollars sunk to the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Andromeda Industries, who make woven steel slings for industry, have been set back at least a year, after it turned out that their brand new, 300 tonne test bed was in one of the containers that fell off the ironically named Liberian ship, the IF Efficiency, in rough waters 30km off the coast of Port Stephens.

Actually only half the 30 metre long test bed was in that container, the other half stayed on the ship in a separate container, although it was also crushed according to Andromeda’s Annette Williams.

“I couldn’t believe it – seriously – what are the chances that this happens to a little firm from the middle of country NSW,” Mrs Williams said.

“We have been wanting to do this extension for years, and have even built a shed to house the new test bed in, but now we have to order another one.” 

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The specialised machinery takes so long to make that Andromeda ordered it last December, and can’t even order another one until the insurance company inspects the damaged half and the investigation is complete, which could take months.

The test bed was going to allow the company to build even bigger slings that would hold up to 300 tonnes, with the initial plans for the upgrade started in 2012.

“We have been a bit fortunate that we hadn’t begun to push or take orders for the product yet – we were going to have a huge launch for it both here and in Sydney, but I guess that is all on hold now too,” Mrs Williams said.