Source: Marine Trader
December 2nd 2014
‘Innovation, reliability and cost-efficiency,’ says MacGregor in this post, which takes a closer look at the systems installed on two new 20,000 dwt multipurpose vessels owned by Rickmers Group.
At the end of 2012, Rickmers Group announced that it would take over a contract for the construction of two 20,000 dwt multipurpose vessels to a design that would reflect market demands for efficient, flexible and reliable vessels.
Construction of the newbuildings is well underway at Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding, in China, with delivery planned for early 2015.
“Vessels of this type have traditionally had very standard designs,” says Dr. Georg Eljardt, Director of Maritime Technology, Rickmers Group. “We took over the newbuilding project under the condition that we could change many elements of the design to ensure the highest degrees of efficiency on board.” The significantly improved technical specifications will lead to a substantial reduction in fuel consumption.
An optimized hull form together with a high efficiency propeller and rudder will enable the new ships to achieve an operating speed of 16.5 knots while using considerably less power than comparable vessels and being optimized for slower speeds operating down to 10 percent MCR.
The new vessels reflect Rickmers’ commitment to efficiency and safety. “For multipurpose vessels the market is tough, with a lot of competition,” says Dr. Eljardt, “so it is crucial that the vessel is able to take just about any type of cargo and handle it very time and fuel efficiently.
“Cargo profile was a key consideration when designing the vessels.” “We investigated different cargo profiles, drafts and hull forms; all with a view to delivering maximum market access. The vessels now have one large, long cargo hold, which can be subdivided to accommodate a wide range and combination of bulk, break bulk, heavy lift and project cargo. The MacGregor system we have chosen offers a great deal of flexibility in comparison to the previous traditional design,” he notes.
In addition to an optimized hull form, the vessels feature further improvements with regard to the propulsion train. The whole engine room has been redesigned to accommodate a slow speed two-stroke diesel main engine. “In addition they also are the first vessels to feature an ESPAC (Energy Saving Package) propulsion system which, through a combined design process of the propeller and rudder, unlocks otherwise lost energy-saving potential. This innovative arrangement will allow the vessels to operate very efficiently throughout the whole operating range from slow steaming to service speed. Together with the ability to take as much cargo of as many types as possible, this offers the operator much more time to react in this volatile market.
“This type of ship spends proportionally more time in port than other types of trading vessel,” explains Dr. Eljardt. “If the vessel is in demand, anything that can be done to speed up operations in port is beneficial. On the other hand, if there is less work, these vessels can run at slower speeds, but very efficiently. They really are forerunners in the market.”
The vessels feature new and service-proven MacGregor technologies. “We wanted a supplier that offered the best quality engineering solution, with the highest quality fabrication processes,” says Dr. Eljardt. “The reliability of the cargo handling system, its function and efficiency are essential elements of these vessels.