Grimaldi books construction of five ammonia-ready car carriers

Emanuele Grimaldi; Image credit: Grimaldi
Emanuele Grimaldi; Image credit: Grimaldi

The Italian shipping company Grimaldi Group has signed an order for the construction of five new Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTCs) with China Merchants Heavy Industries Jiangsu, which is part of China Merchant Industry Holdings.

The agreement foresees an option for additional five units, for a total investment of approximately 1 billion euros.

With a loading capacity of over 9,000 CEU, the new ships have been designed to transport electric vehicles. They also received the Ammonia Ready class notation by Rina, which certifies that the ships have been designed and will be built to be converted to use ammonia as marine fuel.

Moreover, the vessels will be equipped with mega lithium batteries, as well as solar panels and shore connection, which will allow them to achieve zero emissions in port. The other main technical innovations of these ships are the air lubrication system, innovative propulsion, and an optimized hull design, which aim to reduce the carbon footprint, the shipping company said.

China Merchant Industry Holdings has already built 29 ships for Grimaldi over the recent past years.

It continues the strong alliance between Grimaldi Group and China Merchants Industrial Group, and strengthens the strategic cooperation between the two groups to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results,” said Mr. Hu Jianhua, General Manager of China Merchant Industry Holdings.

“The Grimaldi Group has been a veritable pioneer in environmental sustainability, with initiatives aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from its activities year after year. The potential dual-fuel vessels will be far more efficient than earlier designs; they will burn 50% less fuel than the previous generation of car carriers,” stated Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of Grimaldi Group.

“We are witnessing an evolution that will bring the sector toward the zero emissions goal. The order signed today, of a new type of vessel ammonia-ready, is a challenge, particularly when the alternative fuels for the industry to decarbonise are not available at the moment. The realization of such an innovation requires a huge commitment of all parties involved but, then, this commitment turns into progress.”

The order plans were announced at the beginning of October when Grimaldi revealed it was adding 12 eco-friendly vessels to its fleet. These include two car carriers of 7,800 lane metre capacity which have already been ordered from Chinese Jinlong yard. The ships will be a continuation of the ‘Grimaldi Green 5th Generation’ (GG5G) class designed by Danish naval architecture consultancy Knud E. Hansen.

The hybrid vessels will use traditional fossil fuels during operation and battery power when in port.

The company said at the time that the order for up to ten PCTCs was in the making.

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The five ships ordered are expected to be delivered between 2025 and the end of 2026. The additional car carrier vessels are planned to be deployed on voyages between Europe, North Africa, and the Near and Far East.

Grimaldi has 10 future fleet members under construction, which are due for delivery within the next two years. These include six multipurpose ro-ro G5 class ships for intercontinental routes, two Superstar class vessels for the transportation of freight and passengers for the subsidiary Finnlines, and two additional ro-ro ships belonging to the GG5G class.

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