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Grimaldi confirms order for six hybrid ro-ro vessels


Italian shipowner Grimaldi doubles efficiency with environmentally-friendly vessels after confirming an order for six new ferries designed to reduce emissions in port and fuel consumption

Grimaldi Group has signed an agreement with Chinese shipyard Jinling for the construction of six ro-ro vessels as it sets about modernising its fleet.

The Italian group announced last year that it would be spending $2bn on a newbuilding and fleet upgrade programme that would include ro-ro ships of revolutionary design, with zero emissions in port.

The new vessels, whose delivery is expected from 2020, will be 64,000 gt and more than 7,800 linear metres, equivalent to about 500 trailers, Grimaldi said.

This will make them nearly twice the capacity of the largest ships in Grimaldi’s current fleet, but have been designed to run on the same amount of fuel as existing vessels.

The “Grimaldi Green 5th Generation” (GG5G) design was developed by Grimaldi in conjunction with naval architects Knud E Hansen.

The ships will use conventional fuel while at sea, but are designed to use electric power when in port, guaranteeing zero-emissions.

Rather than cold ironing from shore supplies, the vessels will be equipped with lithium batteries that will provide energy requirements while at berth. The batteries will be recharged during navigation, through shaft generators and with the aid of 600 m of solar panels installed on board.

Fuel consumption is being reduced by an air lubrication system under the keel, which creates bubble layers that reduce friction and hydrodynamic resistance.

The vessels’ hull will also be covered with non-toxic silicon paints with by low surface roughness, which will reduce friction with the sea and not release any substances into the water.

To meet sulphur emission requirements, the vessels will be built with scrubber devices.

“Reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, cutting harmful emissions are categorical imperatives for our group,” said Grimaldi president Gianluca Grimaldi.

Three of the ships will be operated by Grimaldi Lines in the Mediterranean while the remaining three, which will be ice-class, will be acquired by the group’s sister company Finnlines and deployed in the Baltic Sea.

Grimaldi has a track record of pioneering ship designs, with subsidiary Atlantic Container Line operating the world’s largest container and ro-ro ships, although these have suffered technical problems that required repairs shortly after delivery. It also plans to lengthen two cruise ships in its fleet and jumbo-ise others.

The privately-owned group said last year that it intended to invest nearly €1.5bn ($2bn) on new ships and upgrades . This includes the latest order and lengthening projects.


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