The Cardiff, U.K., based Graig Group has ordered a series of up to 26 fuel-efficient new generation MARLIN 2000 Blue design container feeders to be built at China’s Jin Hai shipyard complex. The first two vessels are scheduled for delivery in August and September 2013 with subsequent vessels to be delivered in pairs every two and half months. Discussions on charters for the vessels are advanced with a number of global liner companies.
Graig CEO Hugh Williams says: “There is a gap in the containership market for quality, fuel efficient, competitively-priced and environmentally-friendly feeder ships to service the ultra large containerships now being brought into service by the major lines. This advanced MARLIN family of designs will fill that gap, and we expect this order to be the first of several series of larger capacity future-proof vessels, backed by the strength of the MARLIN consortia.”
The MARLIN series of designs has been developed by Wärtsilä, working with Graig and classification society DNV. The designs are the product of extensive research and tank testing and consultation with end users. With a number of design variants, the series is said to deliver some 30 percent better fuel efficiency per TEU carried, improved capacity and slow steaming potential, better loading flexibility for different container types including a high reefer intake and lower emissions when compared to vessels currently in service.
“This is a step change for the feeder section of the container industry,” says Mr. Williams. “It marks the beginning of a two-tier market for feeder ships. The top tier will be those which are like MARLIN, clean and fuel efficient and matching the economies of scale of the new mega liners. This is a much better ship for the job than you can find anywhere today and it is ready to go as a package.”
“We have a high capacity shipyard contracted, finance in place and employment models worked through,” he adds
There are three basic MARLIN designs. All feature an optimized hull shape, increased capacity and forward accommodations.
MARLIN 2000 Blue is a Bangkok-max, direct diesel powered and provides 30 percent fuel savings per day per TEU carried while carrying 20 per cent more boxes. Unlike most other containership designs of this size, it has a wide and flexible range of service speeds delivering fuel savings across the speed spectrum from as little as 10 knots to about 20 knots.
MARLIN 2000 Blue, targeted at the current needs of the high growth intra-Asia trades, has been ordered and there is demand for a series of these vessels.
There are two further MARLIN concept designs which will become more attractive to charterers as air emission standards tighten and bunker costs rise.
MARLIN 2500 Jade is slightly larger and diesel powered but is delivered with either scrubber or SCR emission reduction technology, while offering similar fuel and efficiency gains.
MARLIN 2500 Green is aimed at the market for feeder vessels in ECAS (Emission Control Areas) and provides the option for dual fuel and LNG powering.
Key features of the Marlin package are:
- Advanced suite of optimised, efficient and green designs
- Competitively priced
- Attractive finance package, subject to status
- Experienced partners
- Strong supervision team in place during construction
- Contract and high level shipyard support during construction
- Series production at selected Chinese shipyards giving high standards and timely deliveries
- Experienced technical managers for post delivery
Key features of the Marlin design series are:
- 30 percent more fuel efficient in tonnes per day per TEU carried
- Slow steaming capability
- 20 percent greater capacity
- Operational flexibility – efficient over wide range of speeds and loading conditions, an unusual benefit for vessels of this type.
- Lower emissions – scrubber, SCR or gas power
- ECA ready
- Forward accommodations, giving safer navigation and increased capacity
- Greater cargo flexibility in container mix
- Improved maneuverability, saving port costs
The initial order is for three MARLIN 2000 Blue geared vessels and three options followed by an understanding for the series to be extended up to twenty further vessels including other MARLIN designs. The first vessels have been ordered by Graig and a number of partners. Finance support is being led by a major European bank and China’s EXIM Bank.
The Jin Hai shipyard, close to Shanghai, was chosen for the series because of its track record of delivering high quality ships to demanding owners, and because it has the capacity to build four MARLIN vessels at the same time, so speeding delivery of the series.
“Graig has extensive knowledge of Chinese yards, and we short-listed a number of yards before identifying Jin Hai as the best fit with our business model,” explains Mr. Williams. “Jin Hai is part of the Hainan Airlines Group, a major Chinese conglomerate which also owns a leading logistics player in Grand China Logistics and there is the possibility of the yard’s parent group owning or chartering MARLIN vessels. Jin Hai builds good ships and has a lot of production capacity for simultaneous building. We can provide a value added service, bringing our expertise into the yard with the long series of orders. With our teams in the yard and our experience with building container-friendly vessels we can help the yard to develop and we and our partners acquire good ships quickly at the right price. It is a win-win situation. We also believe the yard and its management have the capacity, working with Graig, Wärtsilä and DNV, to gear up to build the technically more demanding MARLIN Jade and MARLIN Green series of vessels, which we plan to order as soon as the market needs these increasingly environmentally friendly vessels.”
July 12, 2011