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September 25, 2002

Boost for double hull bulker design
Are double hulls the answer toenhanced bulk carrier safety?

The U.K.-based Graig Group and its China-based subsidiary have given a boost to a new, double-hull ultra-handymax bulk carrier design.

They have signed a a letter of intent to build four Diamond 53 type vessels, with four options, at CSIC yards in China. Delivery of the first is scheduled for 2004.

Diamond 53 is a geared, wide-hatched, 53,000 dwt handymax bulk carrier with double hull. It has fivecargo holds, equipped with end-folding hydraulically operated hatch covers and four 36 tonne electro-hydraulic luffing cranes.

“Double hull bulk carriers are the way forward,” says Graig CEO Hugh Williams. “The Diamond 53 design developed over the past 12 months offers owners and charterers major operational cost savings, while significantly enhancing safety and environmental protection. The design features ensure that the vessel will exceed any future standards which come out of the studies into bulk carrier safety which IMO and IACS are currently conducting.”

The Diamond 53 design has been developed jointly by Graig and Denmarks’ Carl Bro, with whom Graig has a joint venture design company in Shanghai.

The first series of ships are intended to be built at Bohai and other CSIC yards in northern China. Graig China’s Shanghai-based supervision teams will oversee the building.

Graig says the Diamond 53 design offers cost savings for both charterers and owners stemming from lower capital costs, quicker discharge and cleaning times, and significantly lower inspection and maintenance costs. The double hull concept ensures easy discharging and cargo hold cleaning, as well as a strong and robust hull structure, using reduced quantities of high tensile steel.

Diamond 53 is claimed to be significantly safer when compared to present standard handymax bulk carriers as the double hull forms a second barrier for water ingress and allows safe close-up survey of the complete hull structure, even when the vessel is in service.
Green water protection—by the forecastle and breakwater and the protected under deck passage to the fore decks—improves the safe operation of the vessel.

There is no need to use a hold for ballast in heavy weather, facilitating ballast water exchange. The current controversy and cost on fitting/retro fitting water ingress detection and alarms is obviated as this consideration only applies to single hull bulkers.

Environmental friendliness is ensured by low emission machinery and easy ballast water exchange. To minimize the risk for heavy fuel oil spill all heavy fuel oil is stored in coffered tanks in the engine room.

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