An increasingly modern and efficient fleet with the arrival of the first hybrid ro-ro and a new car carrier
Naples, 20 October 2020
Great news for the Grimaldi Group fleet. On 16 October, the Neapolitan company took delivery of the Eco Valencia, the first of 12 hybrid ro-ro ships belonging to the new Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) class and ordered from the Chinese Jinling shipyard located in Nanjing. A few days later, on 19 October, the Grande Florida was also delivered to the Group: this is the fifth in a series of 7 PCTC (Pure Car & Truck Carrier) vessels ordered from the Chinese Yangfan shipyard located in Zhoushan.
The Eco Valencia is the first unit of the new GG5G series of hybrid ro-ro vessels. In addition to classifying the ship, RINA (Italian Naval Registry) assigned her the additional “Green Plus” class notation, the top RINA certification in the field of environmental sustainability. The “Green Plus” recognizes the design solutions, on-board systems and operational procedures put in place voluntarily, both during the construction phase and during the operation of the ship, aimed at improving environmental performance beyond the minimum levels required by the relevant international regulations.
The GG5G class design was conceived by the Grimaldi Group Technical and Energy Saving Department in partnership with the Danish naval design studio Knud E. Hansen and incorporates innovative elements that are partly patented and protected by copyright. These include, among others, an air lubrication system – which will let the ship also obtain the prestigious “AIR-LUB” notation certified by RINA; a Rolls-Royce propulsion system optimized with blades featuring innovative propellers, an integrated propulsion system between the rudder and propeller (Promas Lite), a waste heat recovery system as well as silicone coating on the hull.
All the new GG5G-class vessels will use latest-generation electronically-controlled engines which are powered by fossil fuels during navigation and by electricity while at berth, guaranteeing “Zero Emissions in Port®”. During stays at berth, they are capable of meeting the energy demands of on-board activities with just the electricity stored in lithium batteries that are recharged during navigation thanks to shaft generators and 600 m2 of solar panels. Moreover, exhaust gas cleaning systems are installed on board the GG5G ships to reduce sulphur and particulate emissions.
The Eco Valencia has a length of 238 meters, a beam of 34 meters, a gross tonnage of 67,311 tonnes and a service speed of 20.8 knots. The vessel, flying the Italian flag, is the largest short sea ro-ro vessel in the world and can transport 7,800 linear meters of rolling freight, equivalent to around 500 trailers. The loading capacity of its garages is twice that of the largest ships currently operated by the Neapolitan group; nevertheless, the new vessel consumes the same amount of fuel at the same speed. This means twice the efficiency measured in terms of consumption per tonne transported.
The Eco Valencia has two stern ramps for the simultaneous loading of vehicles, which allow for faster handling of freight. Furthermore, the configuration of its decks and the system of internal ramps make the vessel extremely flexible and capable of transporting any type of rolling cargo.
Of the 12 units of the GG5G class, nine will be deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and another three will be operated by the Group subsidiary Finnlines in Northern Europe. In particular, the Eco Valencia will enter service between Italy and Spain, calling regularly at the ports of Livorno, Savona, Barcelona and Valencia.
Meanwhile, the delivery schedule related to the car carrier vessels ordered from the Chinese Yangfan shipyards also continues with the arrival of the Pure Car & Truck Carrier (PCTC) Grande Florida on 19 October. This is the fifth of a series of seven sister ships that will be deployed on the weekly ro-ro connection operated by the Grimaldi Group between the Mediterranean and North America (Canada, United States and Mexico).
Flying the Italian flag, the Grande Florida is 199.9 metres long and 36.45 metres wide; it has a gross tonnage of 65,255 tonnes and a service speed of 19 knots. The vessel is among the largest PCTC on the market: in fact, she can transport around 7,600 CEU (Car Equivalent Units) or alternatively 5,400 linear meters of rolling stock and 2,737 CEU. Thanks to her hoistable decks, the Grande Florida has a highly flexible loading capacity and is able to transport any type of rolling freight (trucks, tractors, buses, excavators, etc.) up to 5.3 metres high. Moreover, the vessel is fitted with a side ramp and a quarter stern ramp, the latter allowing the loading of freight units of up to 150 tonnes.
From an environmental point of view, the Grande Florida was built by adopting technologically advanced systems and devices, ensuring high energy efficiency and eco-sustainable transport. In fact, the vessel is fitted with an electronically-controlled Man Energy Solutions main engine, as required by the new regulations for the reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, as well as with an exhaust gas cleaning system for reducing sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. Finally, she complies with the latest ballast water treatment regulations.
“With the arrival of these new units, we once again confirm our commitment to offer and guarantee high quality transport services, thanks to one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world“, declares the Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. “In particular, the delivery of the Eco Valencia represents an important milestone not only for our company but more generally for short sea shipping in the Mediterranean: in fact, we are deploying increasingly efficient ships with an ever lower environmental impact in the ‘Mare Nostrum’, for the benefit not only of our customers but also of the communities in the cities we serve”, concludes Emanuele Grimaldi.