Jan 23, 2023 | Shipbuilding & ship repair news

The Grimaldi Group has decided to exercise the options within its contract with China Merchants Heavy Industries (CMI) Jiangsu shipyard and order an additional five new PCTC (Pure Car & Truck Carrier) vessels, bringing the total number of car carriers ordered in less than three months by the group to 15.

The concept of the new buildings was developed by the Grimaldi Group in collaboration with the Knud E Hansen design and naval architecture studio. With loading capacity of over 9,000 CEU (Car Equivalent Units), they are designed to transport electric vehicles as well as fossil fuel vehicles. The design has received the Ammonia Ready class notation from RINA (Italian Shipping Register), which certifies that the ships are designed for eventual conversion for the use of ammonia as marine fuel.

The vessels will be equipped with large lithium batteries, solar panels and shore connection capability (cold ironing), which – where available – constitutes a green alternative to the consumption of fossil fuels during port stays. Other carbon-reducing technologies will be installed including an air lubrication system, innovative propulsion and optimised hull design. Overall, the new ships expect to be able to cut fuel consumption by 50% compared to the previous generation of car carrier vessels.

The new PCTCs will be deployed on voyages between Europe, North Africa, and the Near and Far East to meet the new transport needs of automotive industry players.

CMI President Hu Xianpu said: “Grimaldi is committed to green shipping and will lead further the car shipping transportation field. CMI Group will also take the green technology shipbuilding as a new growth point and cooperate with Grimaldi to achieve common long-term development.”

CMI VP Wu Sichuan added: “Thanks for Grimaldi trust in CMI Group, who will mobilise the resource of the whole group to provide the best service for Grimaldi, and build high quality vessels with good delivery time to achieve a win-win situation.”

Grimaldi Group MD Emanuele Grimaldi said: “With our recent orders for the construction of new PCTC vessels, we’ve strengthened our long lasting and fruitful collaboration with China Merchant Industry Holdings. We’ve also reaffirmed our commitment to our customers, especially the world’s leading car manufacturers who continue to reward us with their trust. In this way, we’ll continue to live up to their high expectations and meet their evolving needs, with our offer of increasingly efficient and environmentally sustainable shipping services. 10 out of 15 of our newly ordered car carriers will be deployed on the Far East trade and support the increasing development of China’s automotive industry.”

The Naples-based company is vigorously pursuing the upgrade and renewal of its fleet, which currently counts 130 ships deployed worldwide. The 10 vessels commissioned from CMI Jiangsu will be delivered between 2025 and 2027. Overall, thanks to its recent investments totalling about US$ 2.5bn, the group will take delivery of 25 new ultra-modern vessels over the next five years, including 15 ammonia-ready PCTCs (with further options for two units), six G5-class ro-ro multipurpose vessels, two GG5G-class hybrid ro-ro ships and two Superstar-class ro-pax units (for subsidiary Finnlines).

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