|Name A Whale|
Port of registry Liberia, Monrovia
|Owner A Whale Corp., Liberia|
Yard number 2045
|Operator TMT Co. Ltd. (formerly Taiwan Maritime Transport Co. Ltd.), Taipei
Republic of China (Taiwan)|
Builder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd Ulsan, South Korea
A Whale is a Liberian-flagged ore-oil carrier built in 2010 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea for TMT Co. Ltd. (formerly Taiwan Maritime Transport Co. Ltd.) from the Republic of China (Taiwan). She has seven other sister ships in the fleet, built in 2010-2011 and named in succession: B Whale, C Whale etc., to H Whale.
Oil skimming experiments
She was refitted and converted in Portugal into a skimmer to assist in the cleanup of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, near the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana. The ship's owners stated that A Whale is capable of separating 300,000 to 500,000 US gallons (1,000 to 2,000 m3) of oil per day, while storing the crude and returning the processed sea water to the sea.
A Whale arrived in the Gulf of Mexico on 30 June 2010, while financial agreements were yet pending. However, in two weeks of testing A Whale collected virtually no oil. TMT stated that the ship's poor performance was due to the dispersion of oil in the Gulf.
On July 16, the Coast Guard announced it would not be authorized to join the containment process because tests had shown that its oil skimming capabilities were "negligible" in comparison to the other more nimble and much smaller skimmers in the containment.