SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 — The official steel cutting ceremony took place this week in Shanghai for Atlantic Container Line's five, G4 (Generation 4) RORO/Containerships, marking the start of actual construction.
ACL says its new G4 vessels will be the first of their type ever built. They will be bigger, faster, greener and more efficient than their predecessors. They will have a container capacity of 3800 TEUs plus 28,900 square meters of RORO space, with a car capacity of 1,307 vehicles.
Speed will be increased by 10%, but fuel consumption per TEU will be reduced by 50%. All five vessels will be delivered in 2015, with the first to be delivered at the end of January 2015.
The ship's innovative design comes from International Maritime Advisors (IMA) of Dragoer, Denmark, who, says ACL, successfully solved the problem of high ballast on CONRO vessels.
Most CONRO vessels today stow containers on deck and lighter RORO cargo underdeck. Because of the significant air space that naturally occurs on RORO decks compared to the denser stowage of containers, most of the weight rides high on a standard CONRO vessel, requiring a great deal of ballast for stability. IMA developed the concept of putting all the RORO cargo midships, and stowing the containers in cells fore and aft of the RORO section. This results in cargo replacing ballast and much more efficient use of vessel space.
Since signing a contract with ACL in July 2012 for the construction of these vessels, Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding (HZS) has been busy with the detailed design work and tank testing.
ACL's President & CEO, Andrew J. Abbott and Henrik Karle, (Vice‐President of Marine Operations) participated in the steel cutting event together Paolo Satariano (Grimaldi Corporate Technical Director) and Pierluigi Marmo (Grimaldi Group New Buildings Project Manager) at Hudong Zhonghua's new ship construction facility on Chungxing Island near Shanghai.
"We are excited to celebrate this milestone for our first G4 CONRO (Container/Roll-on Roll-off). After five years of planning, this is the first step of the construction. ACL and our parent company, the Grimaldi Group of Naples, Italy, look forward to the progress in the upcoming months," said Mr. Abbott. "We are most happy that construction of our ships will take place at Hudong Zhonghua's newest shipyard, where they employ the latest technology."
ACL has appointed Registro Italiano Navale (RINA Services S.p.A.) and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to provide statutory classification services for the G4 ship construction which provides periodic survey activities, certification, testing and inspection during the vessel's assembly.
ABS will also be the site manager, overseeing construction activities and ensuring quality control on behalf of ACL.