Finnish ship operator Langh Ship has ordered three multipurpose dry cargo vessels which will serve long standing customer Outokumpu on the short sea lane between Finland and continental Europe.
Outokumpu, a global leader in stainless steel has entered a long-term time charter with the Finnish shipping company for three newbuildings at the Wuhu shipyard in China. Delivery for the first vessel is scheduled mid-2023, followed by the other two at close intervals.
The ordered vessels will have a deadweight of 7,800 tonnes, thus being of ideal size for the requested service frequency. The design has been developed by Langh Ship in collaboration with Outokumpu and the Chinese ship designer Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI). Langh Ship currently has three multipurpose cargo ships, specially equipped for shipments of steel on charter to Outokumpu. The experiences from many years of cooperation on this trade has been utilized in designing cargo holds and cargo handling solutions for the new vessels.
The newbuildings will be equipped with a dual fuel main engine with an output of 4,500kW. In the future, the vessels can be converted to run with various fossil-free fuels. As initial fuel they will use LNG which can be directly replaced by liquefied biogas (LBG). The ship’s LNG tank is both methanol and ammonia ready. Furthermore, the vessels are prepared for installation of onshore power, which would make them emission-free during port calls. There is also space reserved for the installation of batteries, which enable hybrid solutions. For handling ballast water, the newbuildings are equipped with the recently launched Ballast Water Management System from Langh Tech. The system eliminates the risk of harmful invasive species.
The newbuildings are designed for all-year traffic in the northern Gulf of Bothnia and will have ice class 1A. The vessels are set to operate between Outokumpu’s main port, Tornio, Finland, and its continental hub Terneuzen, the Netherlands. The vessels will transport semi-finished and finished steel products to customers and for further processing. On the back-haul the vessels will be loaded with steel scrap, which is the main raw material of Outokumpu stainless steel.
”We highly value the long-term relationship that we have with Outokumpu. The cooperation between our companies has started over three decades ago. We very much look forward to this next step with these newbuildings, which deepens our cooperation even further,” says Laura Langh-Lagerlöf, Managing Director, Langh Ship.
Jyrki Sandelin, Outokumpu Category Manager for transports: “This transport stretch is the single most important transport lane for Outokumpu Group and that is why we rely on our trusted partner Langh Ship. Our cooperation and the previous experience gathered on this northern route has led to excellent solutions. Both companies have high ambitions and keep pushing each other for constant improvements.”
The newbuildings will be specially equipped for shipping steel but as multipurpose vessels are fit for many cargo types to serve Outokumpu versatile needs. The main product, stainless steel coils have a secure ride with Langh Ship’s patented pontoon-type coil cradle tween deck. By loading coils both on the bottom of the hold and on the tween deck, the weight is distributed in a way making the ship’s motions in heavy seas slower. This makes the transport safer and reduces the risk of cargo damage.
When loading other goods, the tween decks are stowed in a smaller cargo hold releasing the main cargo hold for bulk cargo or containers. The hold is box-shaped and equipped with adjustable bulkheads to create optimal hold sizes for other cargo as well as the dimensions are optimized for containers. Heavy steel containers especially developed by Langh Cargo Solutions can be carried on the hatch covers. The starting point for designing the cargo solutions has been to maximize the utilization of the cargo capacity. This will at the end, serve both targets, reducing further the transport emissions and being as cost efficient as possible.
The vessels are designed to meet Outokumpu ambitious sustainability targets by minimizing emissions and complying with all known upcoming environmental regulations. The vessels are equipped with dual-fuel engines which can run on multiple fuels and thus be adjusted for future next generation propellants.
“Thanks to the energy-efficient hull shape, these vessels have a lower engine power than the current vessels. Despite that they can load more cargo and keep the same service speed”, said Laura Langh-Lagerlöf, Managing Director, Langh Ship.
“The design has been developed in close cooperation between Outokumpu and Langh Ship. Both companies have the joint target to make the vessels as energy efficient, environmentally friendly and as flexible as possible. The future will bring alternative fuels, shore power and battery technologies, which these vessels are already equipped for”, said Eero Pajunen, Chief Operating Officer, Langh Ship.