A Steel cutting ceremony for what will be the world’s largest LNG-fuelled roro took place last week at the CIMC Raffles shipyard in Yantai, located in Shandong province in eastern China.
The ship is being built for W ALLENIUS SOL, a joint venture begun last April by Wallenius Lines and Swedish Orient Linien (SOL) for carrying paper and other cargoes from the Gulf of Bothnia. The ship is one of up to four newbuildings ordered for the new joint service.
When completed the ship will be the world’s first ro-ro ship to be both LNG fuelled and to have ice class 1A Super. It will enter operation in the autumn of 2021. “The ship will form an extremely important part of our fleet,” said Ragnar Johansson, Managing Director, WALLENIUS SOL.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that construction has begun. We set the bar high in terms of reliable ocean freight with low environmental impact, and a ship with both the highest ice class and environmental performance shows how we live up to this. As a state-of-the-art vessel, it’s very important for us,” said Johansson.
The ship will be 242 metres long (LOA) with a beam of 35.2 metres and a capacity of 5,800 lane metres. It will have a top speed of 20kt and an operational speed of 16kt. It was designed by Wallenius Marine in collaboration with Danish shipbuilder Knud E. Hansen to handle the tough, sometimes Arctic, conditions in the Gulf of Bothnia.
Wallenius Marine visited a number of shipyards worldwide before it commissioned CIMC Raffles. “They are renowned for their work with offshore structures. CIMC Raffles is at the very forefront of engineering know-how, so we feel extremely confident about the build,” said Per Westerdal, project manager at Wallenius Marine.
In mid-March, Wallenius Marine opened a local office at the Yantai shipyard. It will be fully manned by June and will allow them to monitor the process closely and collaborate with CIMC Raffles. In June, construction will begin on a sister ship to the one now beginning to take shape.