Grimaldi returns to China for two more ammonia-ready car carriers

Italian shipping major Grimaldi Group has placed an order for two more ammonia-ready Pure Car & Truck Carrier (PCTC) vessels, lifting the options from the previous contract signed with China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC) back in January.

Image credit: Grimaldi

Under the contract from earlier this year, Grimaldi agreed with CSSC’s subsidiaries Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company Limited (SWS) and China Shipbuilding Trading Company Limited (CSTC) to build five PCTC ships, pushing the ordering tally to a total of 15 units. With the latest two orders, the orderbook now stands at a total of 17 newbuilds.

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With a length of 200 meters, a width of 38 meters and loading capacity of 9,000 CEU, the new buildings have been designed to transport electric and fossil fuel vehicles as well as other types of heavy rolling freight.

The vessels will be equipped with a new type of electronic engine with a low consumption and will be fitted with emission abatement systems, enabling the ships to comply with the most stringent limits established for CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.

Grimaldi said that these innovations and systems will result in an over 50 pct reduction in CO2 emissions index per cargo unit transported when compared to other PCTC ships currently operated by the Grimaldi Group.

In addition, the new ships received the Ammonia Ready class notation from Italian shipping register RINA, which means that the ships may be converted for the use of ammonia.

The PCTCs are designed for cold ironing enabling them to plug into a shoreside supply of electricity, a green alternative to the consumption of fossil fuels during port stays.

The deal with the Chinese shipyard for the construction of the seven PCTCs is worth over $630 million. This investment is part of the Grimaldi Group’s massive fleet renewal plan, which includes 26 ships currently under construction: 17 ammonia-ready car carriers, five “G5”-class multipurpose ro-ro units, two “GG5G”-class hybrid ro-ro vessels and two “Superstar”-class ro-pax ships (for the subsidiary Finnlines).

Investing in the design and construction of such large, eco-friendly vessels as these new ammonia-ready PCTC units means making a concrete contribution both to the development of international trade and to the ecological transition in the shipping sector“, said Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi.

Our fleet modernization project is extremely ambitious, but this is the kind of initiatives that our sector needs to tackle decarbonisation, one of the most urgent and demanding challenges of our time”.

The delivery of the two newly ordered PCTCs is scheduled for 2026. Like their five sister vessels, they will be deployed on voyages between Europe, North Africa, the Near and Far East.