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July 2, 2010

Rickmers names four 13,1000 TEU box ships at HHI

Hamburg headquartered Rickmers Group today christened four ultra-large containerships in a quadruple naming ceremony at Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, Korea, shipyard.

Each of the four 13,100 TEU ships, Pearl Rickmers, Ruby Rickmers, Aqua Rickmers and Coconee Rickmers, has a service speed of 24.3 knots. They have been chartered long term to Maersk Line and will join Maersk's "E-class" as Maersk Edinburgh, Maersk Emden, Maersk Eindhoven and Maersk Essen.

The ships will be delivered one by one during July and August 2010, and phase in to Maersk's new joint service with CMA CGM linking Asia and North Europe. As Maersk's AE8 service, it will deploy ten ships of this size, each partner contributing five. The port rotation will be:

Ningbo - Shanghai - Yantian - Tanjung Pelepas - Port Kelang - Le Havre - Hamburg - Rotterdam - Zeebrugge - Port Kelang - Singapore - Ningbo.

A further four sister ships are due for delivery to the Rickmers Group in 2011, also for charter to Maersk Line. All have been fixed for 10-year periods with further options.

"With volumes out of Asia again starting to rise and rates holding, container lines' confidence is growing," noted Bertram R C Rickmers, Chairman of Rickmers Holding. "Given this scenario, the timing of the delivery of these Rickmers Group ships is looking much better than it might have done six to twelve months ago."

Describing the vessels, Mr. Rickmers added: "The eight vessels are ideally suited for the current market, which is demanding the largest possible ships in order to reduce the cost per container carried. Although built to operate at over 24 knots, the ships are equally capable of slow steaming. This is an important requirement today and in the months and years to come.

"These ships will also be capable of transiting the Panama Canal following completion of ongoing expansion work. Larger locks and dredging will open up an important additional trade lane for so-called New Panamax (NPX) container ships from Asia to the U.S. East Coast."

Technical details

All eight ships are being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries' Ulsan shipyard. The principal dimensions are as follows:

Length (oa): 366 m

Length (bp): 350 m

Beam: 48.2 m

Depth: 29.85 m

Design draft: 14.5 m

Scantling draft: 15.5 m

Deadweight: 125,480 mt at 14 .5m,140,580 mt at 15.5 m

Containers are carried 17-wide below deck and 19-wide on the hatchcovers. The maximum capacity of each ship is 7,074TEU on deck and 6,018TEU below deck, making 13,092TEU in total. Based on a homogeneous container weight of 14 tonnes per TEU, the maximum capacity is approximately 9,080TEU. Reefer plugs are available for 800 x 40ft containers.

Each ship is powered by a single Hyundai-Wartsilae] 12RT-flex96C main engine weighing over 2,000 tonnes and developing 68,640 kW (MCR) at 102 rpm and 61,776 kW (NCR) at 98.5rpm. Five 2,700kw diesel generators are installed.

Although designed for a service speed of 24.3 knots, the flex-engines still achieve 21.5 knots at 60 percent of the engine's normal output but can also slow steam as required under charterers' current service patterns, generating substantial fuel savings. By having this substantial speed reserve, the ships can increase speed when necessary to maintain schedule integrity,

Management

The ships will be managed by Rickmers Shipmanagement (Singapore) Pte Ltd (RSS), the Rickmers Group's shipmanagement unit set up in Singapore to manage the fleets of shipping trust Rickmers Maritime and Rickmers Group shipowner Polaris Shipmanagement Company as well as third party vessels. Including the latest four 13,100TEU ships, RSS will be managing a young - average age two years - fleet of 27 mainly Panamax container vessels and Rickmers Group's two new PCTCs delivered earlier this year. With the four 13,100TEU vessels, the total fleet of Rickmers Group totals 107 vessels, 78 of which are being managed by Rickmers Reederei in Hamburg.


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