Rolldock Orders Two Heavy-lift Ships from FSG, Germany
Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) has won an order from the Rolldock concern in the Netherlands for two identical newbuildings for the flexible and challenging transport of high value project loads.
The ship design permits load handling using three different methods – a precondition for top-level adaptability and future safety in the demanding global transport sector. Construction of the two 151.50 metre-long ships will start in February 2013 and delivery is planned during the first half of 2014. This means that employment is secured for FSG’s 700 shipbuilders until then and perhaps even longer because it is possible that Rolldock will order further ships of this type.
For FSG, which has made a name for itself over the past 15 years as the world leader in the building of RoRo and RoPax ships, this is the first successful step in the expansion of its production pallet. Managing Director Peter Sierk said “We have only been working seriously in the offshore sector since last summer and inside just a few months we have been able to post the first order. We regard that as a very positive which confirms our belief that our strategy is the correct one”. According to this strategy, the future of the shipyard lies in its versatility. “Naturally, we want to remain the Number One on the RoRo market” he said, but since the classical shipyard markets have declined, it is imperative for the survival of a modern shipyard that it offer new ideas. “And in this respect we can of course score points with our strong research and development division”.
Sierk reported that “We have been holding confidential talks with Rolldock since December of last year”. He added the yard had been able to satisfy the Dutch with a successful and multi-faceted design, swift negotiation, flexibility and with a proven record of delivery reliability over the past 20 years. Said Sierk: “Since 1990 we have delivered every one of our ships either to the agreed deadline or sooner, and of course also within budget. This was of enormous significance to Rolldock in making its decision”, he added. Although FSG was competing with cheaper shipyards, Rolldock finally signed with Flensburg, Sierk said. “This demonstrates that reliable, front-running technical products from northern Europe can, because of their high quality, procure for themselves a decisive market edge over offers from Asia and other parts of the world, which seem more favourable only at first glance”.
The two ships now ordered are innovative and highly-flexible units for the widest possible range of project cargo. Loading and unloading pose the biggest challenges with this type of ship, on which cargo can be handled in three completely different ways. Two heavy load cranes can move cargo weighing up to 700 tons. In addition the ships have adjustable stern ramps and hatch covers which can be adapted to differing quay heights in ports and so permit the loading or unloading of individual cargo up to 3,000 tons in weight in the classic RoRo manner. Finally the ships can be submersed by more than 12 metres to allow cargo to be floated in or out. Each of the ships has a deadweight of 8,000 tons.
Rolldock can operate the new ships in a highly flexible way: either in the conventional transport sector or in the offshore sector. Thanks to their versatility, everything is possible.
The innovative solutions incorporated in this design once again attest to the high-value approach of FSG. The ballast water system, for example, which is inclusive of automated processes and protocol functions, is made completely out of strengthened plastic. In addition, an integrated system designed to monitor and control all relevant procedures is built into the bridge unit. In the general arrangement of the ships, accommodation is provided for up to 32 people so that personnel accompanying sometimes highly complex and sensitive project loads can travel along with the crew.
The ships, when fully laden, have a speed of 16 knots and are propelled by two Diesel engines and a double propeller plant. By integrating a ballast water treatment plant and applying the highest possible tank coating standards they already meet future environmental protection requirements. As with all other FSG newbuildings, these ships also demonstrate the highest possible efficiency and have the lowest exhaust emission and fuel consumption rates.
The new Rolldock contract secures the workload at FSG until the middle of 2014. Also still on the order books for completion up to that date are two RoRo freight ferries for Seatruck Ferries in England, three RoRo freight ferries for Ulusoy Sealines in Turkey and a ConRo ship for Oceanex in Canada. Being intensively worked on as well are new and very promising projects designed to guarantee the employment of the more than 700 employees in Flensburg beyond the year 2014.
World Maritime News Staff, March 5, 2012; Image: FSG