First car carrier with all-electric RO/RO access enters service

cargotecrampWith the entry into service of the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL) Iris Ace, Cargotec's growing electric-drive RO/RO references now include the first vessel to have all-electrically-driven RO/RO access. The 4,000-unit pure car truck carrier (PCTC) features an electrically-driven MacGregor stern quarter ramp/door, side ramps and two movable ramps from Cargotec.

Iris Ace was delivered from Japanese shipbuilder, Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding Co Ltd earlier this year and was followed into operation by a pair of 6,400-unit PCCs, Cattleya Ace and Carnation Ace, from the same builder. Each of these two ships features an electrically-driven MacGregor stern quarter ramp/door, a center ramp/door and six movable ramps. All equipment is operated by electric winches and actuators, eliminating the use of hydraulic oil in the operating system.

"Shin-Kurushima, MOL and Cargotec are all committed to clean seas," says Magnus Sjöberg, Sales Director for RO/RO ships at Cargotec. "The cooperation between the companies has resulted in these exceptionally efficient, environmentally-friendly vessels. Our collaboration was an essential part of this technology's development; and we are seeing a steadily growing demand for it".

"On average, electric drives consume less energy than their hydraulic equivalents, therefore, their introduction into MOL's recent newbuilds was a natural progression in the company's environmental initiatives," says Mr Sjöberg.

"When you replace hydraulically-powered deck machinery with electric versions, one of the greatest environmental benefits that you gain is the elimination of potential hydraulic oil leaks. These cause pollution and can also damage cargo. It was the high incidence of cargo damage that was a primary concern for car manufacturers, who ultimately put pressure on shipowners to come up with a solution to the problem."

Last year Cargotec and the Shin-Kurushima Dockyard group also signed further agreements for four pure car carriers (PCCs) to be fitted with fully electrically-driven RO/RO access equipment.

The first ships with electrically-driven MacGregor RO/RO equipment were delivered in 2006 - although this equipment was limited to internal systems. In 2009, four 2,000-unit PCTCs for PD Gram & Co AS, delivered from Kyokuyo Shipyard in Japan. Viking Odessa, Höegh Caribia, City of Oslo and Viking Constanza, all feature a comprehensive outfit of internal MacGregor cargo access equipment including: ten hoistable car deck panels, one access ramp, four movable ramps and two ramp covers on each ship.

November 14, 2011

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