Me­ga­ships be­ing built in Shang­hai

Mas­sive ves­sels, the big­gest in world, will be able to carry 23,000 con­tain­ers

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China is build­ing the world’s largest con­tainer ships, each of which will be able to carry more than 23,000 stan­dard con­tain­ers, which to­gether can hold, for ex­am­ple, more than 1 bil­lion units of the Ap­ple iPhone X.

The con­struc­tion of the first two me­ga­ships started in late July. They’re be­ing built by Jiang­nan Ship­yard Group and Hudong-Zhonghua Ship­build­ing Group, both of Shang­hai, ac­cord­ing to China State Ship­build­ing Corp, a State-owned giant that owns the two com­pa­nies.

The ships are ex­pected to be de­liv­ered to the cus­tomer, CMA CGM, a French con­tainer trans­porta­tion and ship­ping com­pany, in 2020.

The Marine De­sign and Re­search In­sti­tute of China, a CSSC re­search arm that de­signed the ships, said they will be the lat­est and big­gest in its Her­a­cles class — named af­ter the hero of Greek mythol­ogy.

Each of the ves­sels will be 400 me­ters long and 61.3 m wide, and will be ca­pa­ble of mov­ing 220,000 met­ric tons of cargo.

They will be pro­pelled by liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, mak­ing these the first large con­tainer ships to be driven by the ecofriendly fuel, as op­posed to diesel, the tra­di­tional pro­pel­lant for large ves­sels, the in­sti­tute said. Pol­lut­ing emis­sions will be ex­po­nen­tially re­duced, it added.

CSSC beat five world-class com­peti­tors — in­clud­ing Ja­pan’s Imabari Ship­build­ing Co and South Korea’s Dae­woo Ship­build­ing and Marine En­gi­neer­ing Co and Hyundai Heavy In­dus­tries — be­fore sign­ing a con­tract for nine 23,000 con­tainer-ca­pa­ble ves­sels with the French car­rier.

Yu Lai, chief de­signer of the new ships at the Shang­hai in­sti­tute, said on Thurs­day that the de­sign and con­struc­tion of the gi­gan­tic ves­sels makes China a leader in the field of con­tainer ship­ping.

“In the past, we fol­lowed oth­ers; now we are run­ning ahead of them,” he said. “Com­pared with its pre­de­ces­sors, this new class of con­tainer ship is larger, has a high level of au­to­ma­tion and fea­tures bet­ter safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance. Its con­struc­tion re­quires state-of-the-art man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques.”

Yu said the ships will re­quire only about 30 crew mem­bers to op­er­ate. The max­i­mum de­sign speed will be 22 knots, or about 41 kilo­me­ters per hour.

Cur­rently, the largest con­tainer ships are the six ves­sels built by South Korea’s Sam­sung Heavy In­dus­tries for the Hong Kong-based con­tainer ship­ping and lo­gis­tics ser­vice com­pany Ori­ent Over­seas Con­tainer Line. They can hold 21,413 con­tain­ers.

The sec­ond-largest is the COSCO Ship­ping Uni­verse, which was de­signed and built by China State Ship­build­ing Corp and which can hold 21,237 con­tain­ers.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

De­sign sketches of the world’s largest con­tainer ship.

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