Maersk orders ten 18,000 TEU Triple-E containerships

tripleEmicroIt's official Maersk Line has signed a contract with Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. to build ten 18,000 TEU containerships, with an an option for an additional 20 vessels. The first ten are scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015. DSME says the initial order is worth 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion).


Called the 'Triple-E' class for the three main purposes behind their creation -- Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved -- the new ships will surpass the current industry records for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per container moved held by the Emma Maersk class vessels.


With dimensions of 400 m long by 59 m wide and 73 m depth, the Triple-E will be the largest vessel of any type on the water. Its 18,000 TEU (twenty-foot container) capacity is 16 percent greater (2,500 containers) than today's largest container vessel, Emma Maersk.

The Triple-E will produce 20 percent less CO2 per container moved compared to Emma Maersk and 50 percent less than the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade lane. In addition, it will consume approximately 35 percent less fuel per container than the 13,100 TEU vessels being delivered to other container shipping lines in the next few years, also for Asia-Europe service.

The Triple-E has a twin skeg (two-engine, two propeller) propulsion system. The top speed was capped at 23 knots, two knots lower than Emma Mærsk's top speed. This meant a power requirement of only 65-70 megawatts compared to Emma's 80 megawatts – a 19 percent reduction. A slower max speed also enabled Maersk Line to consider "ultra-long stroke"engines that could operate at slower revolutions, leading in turn to a demand for a larger propeller diameter. However, the size of the propeller is limited by the dimensions of the vessel and the available space beneath the keel. To mitigate these restrictions and achieve the desired efficiency, Maersk Line research determined that a two engine/two propeller "twin skeg" system was superior to the one engine/propeller setup.


The Triple-E's two propellers are 9.8 m in diameter with 4 blades each, compared to Emma's single propeller, which is 9.6 metres in diameter with 6 blades. The combined diameter of the propellers provides greater pushing power in the water and the fewer number of blades creates less resistance. In all, the Triple-E's twin-skeg propulsion system consumes approximately 4 percent less energy than Emma Mærsk's single engine/single propeller propulsion system.

An advanced waste heat recovery system captures and reuses energy from the engines' exhaust gas for extra propulsion with less fuel consumption.

The ship's two MAN Diesel engines will each deliver 43,000 hp and fuel comsumption will be 168 grams bunker oil per kilowatt hour produced .

To reduce the environmental impact of the vessels beyond their lifecycle, Maersk Line is setting a new standard for the way vessels are recycled. All the materials used to build the Triple-E class will be documented and mapped in the vessel's '"cradle-to-cradle passport."This means that when the vessel is retired from service, this document will ensure that all materials can be reused, recycled or disposed of in the safest, most efficient manner.

February 21, 2011

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