Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. MSC Gemma

Colossal 24K TEU MSC Gemma completes sea trials

MSC Gemma, an ultra large containership with a capacity of 24,116 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), has completed its sea trials at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in China.

Image credit: Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding

The Liberia-flagged vessel, which is being constructed for MSC, underwent comprehensive testing of various systems and components during the trials carried out on May 1.

The sea trials encompassed a range of crucial tests, including the ALS (Automated Life-Saving) system, side thrust test, anchor test, main engine durability test, scrubber system, and unmanned cabin.

Among the key aspects evaluated during the sea trials was the inspection of the shaft generator.

A shaft generator is a device installed on a ship’s propulsion system that utilizes the rotation of the main engine’s shaft to generate electricity, significantly reducing fuel consumption and improving the overall energy efficiency of the vessel.

The systems are gaining interest as a single unit can save up to 17 pct more fuel than a traditional generator set. Boosting vessel efficiency is of extreme importance for ship owners to meet the IMO’s new regulatory standards, including the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) that came into force in January 2023.

The colossal containership measures 399.99 meters in length, which is more than 60 meters longer than the current largest aircraft carrier in the world. Its molded width is 61.5 meters, and the deck area is equivalent to the size of 4 standard football fields. The ship can carry more than 240,000 tons of cargo, and can load 24,116 standard containers at a time.

It belongs to the series of the world’s largest containerships based on their capacity.

This is the third ship of the same size being built at the yard on behalf of MSC. The container shipping company has taken delivery of five 24,000 TEU-class vessels since the beginning of this year.

Namely, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has already delivered the giant 24,116 TEU MSC Tessa and MSC Celestino Maresca to MSC.  The 24K vessels delivered to MSC also include MSC Raya, MSC Irina, and MSC Loreto.

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