Juicy Brazilian carrier

01 Jun 2002

Wet bulk ships don?t come any sweeter than Carlos Fischer. The 42,500 dwt carrier is specifically designed for transporting fresh and concentrated orange juice in tanks.
Carlos Fischer is owned by Aleuropa, a subsidiary of leading Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Fischer. It was recently delivered by shipbuilder Kleven Maritime from its Flor? yard in western Norway. The vessel can transport up to 37,000t of orange juice, from the group?s orange tree estates in Brazil to its plants in the eastern USA, Belgium and Japan.
For the Kleven yard, the contract represented an endorsement of its capabilities by a satisfied customer. Aleuropa took delivery in 1993 and 1994 of two smaller juice carriers from the shipyard, the 18,600 dwt Ouro do Brazil and Sol do Brazil. The newbuilding, a much larger vessel embodying new thinking in the carriage of juice, is the first of two sister ships under construction at Floro. The second unit is scheduled to enter service in August 2003.
Design challenge
The shipowner and shipyard worked in conjunction with Marintek in Trondheim, which carried out tank testing and hull form optimisation, to achieve the final design. A service speed in excess of 20 knots was specified with the main engine operating at 94% of MCR in a 5% sea margin and a nominal 1,200kW output from the shaft generator.
A particular challenge of the design and tank testing was to reconcile the high deadweight of 42,500t and large cargo volume with the speed requirement. Fine-tuning produced a bulbous bow with a relatively sharp lower profile and fairly flat on top. The aft hull has a very flat form running from the base line and incorporates a skeg which meets the run at a chine. It incorporates the main engine foundations and the bulb ahead of the propeller.
The result is a slim ship measuring 204.85m long overall with a moulded breadth of 32.2m, a moulded depth of 19.2m and an operating draught of about 9.5m. The building dock at Floro has a length limit of 200m and therefore the last 5m of the bulbous bow on the vessel was added later.
With Carlos Fischer, Kleven departed from its usual shipbuilding practice of building the entire vessel, by sub-contracting the hull to a Romanian shipyard. The cargo tanks are freestanding and do not form part of the structure. Since the deck provides much of the hull girder strength, prepared sections had to be cut out on arrival in Norway to allow the stainless steel tanks to be installed in the holds.
The main engine room is located aft, directly below the accommodation block. The main deck is clear, apart from a deckhouse over the third hold. This contains the refrigeration plant, cargo manifolds and two generator sets comprising one 8L20 genset and one emergency genset. The raised forecastle accommodates the Pusnes deck machinery.
Although Carlos Fischer is not classed as a tanker (it is effectively a four hold refrigerated ship with each hold having four vertical freestanding cylindrical fruit juice tanks), the ship is double hulled. This is mainly to ensure sufficient ballast capacity. Cargo piping runs through the holds while bilge and ballast piping is run through a large 2m square pipe tunnel below the holds. This is accessible from either the engine room, the midship?s deckhouse or the forecastle. Cargo loading and discharge manifolds are located in lockers in the deckhouse. The only visible piping on deck is the fire main and air lines.

Propulsion
A seven-cylinder Wärtsilä Sulzer RTA 84C main engine, with an output of 28,500kW at 102 rev/min, powers a 7.5m diameter Kamewa Ulstein CP propeller. A Flender gearbox on the intermediate shaft provides power take-off for a 2,000kW ABB shaft generator. With the shaft generator engaged, the main engine is run at constant speed. A Becker flap rudder with Frydenb? steering gear provides the main manoeuvring capacity, assisted by a Kamewa Ulstein bow thruster.
Kleven Flor? is one of the few yards left in Norway with experience of installing large two stroke main engines and, at almost 1,000t, this was the largest unit that the yard has tackled so far.
Two generator sets using Wärtsilä 8L20 engines and ABB generators each provide 1,820kW while switchboards (Harvest Elektro), engine alarms and monitoring systems were supplied by Norcontrol. Alfa Laval provided the fuel and oil treatment plant with modular purifiers for HFO, diesel and lube oil. A cargo control room is positioned at the forward end of the lowest superstructure deck. Main engine monitoring functions can also be carried out from here.

Cargo system
The cargo tanks were constructed at the Flor? yard and comprise cylindrical units with the axis vertical. The bottom of each tank slopes to a definite lower point while the top is slightly conical. Pipe work is connected to the lowest point to ensure that the tanks can be completely drained. A radar tank level gauging system, nitrogen pipes and temperature sensors are installed at the top of each tank. The tanks stand on cylindrical pillars and are braced by girders near the top, which also form part of the walkway and ladder system.
The holds are insulated using a panel system made up from polyurethane foam slabs. These feature a galvanised steel protective jacket on one side and a polished aluminium facing towards the hold. In three of the cargo holds, tanks are arranged in two sets of pairs either side of the centre line. Because of the need for a fine bow shape, a different arrangement was needed in the forward hold. Here one tank is fitted to port, one to starboard and two further forward on the centre line. Tanks in the aftermost hold are reserved for natural orange juice which is carried at nominally 0OC. The other 12 tanks, that is those located in the forward three holds, can carry either natural juice or concentrated juice which is loaded and transported at -10OC and has the consistency of a gruel. Pumping and piping systems are complex and all surfaces in contact with the juice cargo have to be kept in an aseptic condition.
Cargo pumps are fitted at tank top level between the cargo tanks. There is a considerable difference in handling requirement for the natural juice and the concentrated juice. Concentrate requires much larger diameter pipes and is handled by a special type of electrically driven displacement pump. The fresh juice with its lower viscosity can be handled by electrically driven centrifugal pumps.
All surfaces that are in contact with orange juice are made of polished stainless steel. The yard says it paid great attention to achieving the required degree of finish and eliminating any crevices where bacteria could develop. Flanges sealed with O-rings are designed to eliminate cavities and all pumping and piping systems lead to a definite lowest point so they can be completely drained.
Oxygen must be eliminated from the system to prevent juice being oxidised. This is achieved through the introduction of protective nitrogen. Normally the nitrogen required for the minimal ullage spaces in the tanks and for pipe work is provided from shore but smaller quantities of nitrogen are carried on board for topping up.
Propeller type tank stirrers are fitted and used to ensure circulation of tank contents when natural juice is being carried. An elaborate tank and cargo system cleaning outfit is provided and includes tank cleaning machines for washing down each cargo tank. Cleaning and disinfecting agents can be blended with fresh water drawn from large tanks aft of the engine room. Empty tanks are filled with nitrogen on the return voyage as is the cargo handling system.
The reefer plant, supplied by York, uses ammonia in the primary circuit and brine in the secondary circuit. Three electrically-driven refrigerant compressors are installed in the deckhouse. Brine from the evaporator room circulates through heat exchangers in each hold where large fans blow air to all parts of the insulated holds through strategically placed ductwork.
Each of the refrigerant compressors has a capacity of 60% of the total, giving ample redundancy. Because the freezer system is so important, one of the ship?s main generator sets is installed in the deckhouse with a large independent fuel supply and cooling water connections. So even in the event of a blackout, the valuable cargo is protected.
In the starboard side of the deckhouse are two insulated lockers which open to reveal the cargo loading and discharge manifolds, one set for concentrate, the other for fresh juice.
Container locking points are fitted on deck giving the ship a teu capacity of 300 loaded boxes or up to 500 containers, provided the 60t stack load is not exceeded. This facility, which includes 75 reefer points, will give a useful payload to offset the costs of an otherwise ballast return voyage. Altogether some 8,000t of containerised cargo can be carried when the vessel is in ballast.

Accommodation
Kleven Flor? built the accommodation superstructure and fitted it out to a high standard with generous living quarters for a total of 30 people. The Master and Chief Engineer have suites of rooms on the third deck, and an owner?s suite covering about 50m2 is provided, plus three guest cabins. The officers and crew have comfortable single cabins with toilet and shower facilities attached to each. A gym room and a sizeable swimming pool cater for the crew?s recreation and fitness.
Integrated bridge navigation systems were provided by Litton Systems and include X- and S-band ARPA 340 radars, a Vision 2100 voyage management system, ECDIS planning station, Leica MX420/2 DGPS system, Litton gyrocompass, autopilot, rudder indicator, magnetic compass and electromagnetic speed log from C.Plath, Skipper echo sounder, Taiyo weatherfax, Furuno Navtex, DEIF watch and unfitness alarm system. Communications include a GMDSS Area 3 system, Sailor Inmarsat C, Nera Saturn B, and Sperry/Sailor VHFs.
The vessel is classed by Germanischer Lloyd with notation +100A5 fruit juice carrier. To reduce noise and vibration, floating decks are used in specific locations including the bridge and directly above the engine room. A full air-conditioning system was supplied by Novenco.
Schat-Harding provided safety equipment comprising a 30 person free-fall lifeboat launching over the transom stern, the associated davits system and a man overboard boat. Pusnes electrically-driven winches and anchor windlasses cover the ship?s mooring requirements while hose handling and general stores transfer is taken care of by Normarine cranes on the deckhouse roof and alongside the funnel on the starboard side.
Established in 1952, the Flor? yard has, over the years, specialised in the design and building of chemical tankers including a series of eleven 37,500 dwt vessels for Odfjell, a series of three 37,000 dwt units for Jo Tankers and four of 33,000 dwt for Stolt Nielsen.
The yard?s reputation for specialised tonnage is demonstrated by the current order book that includes the second juice carrier, two 37,500 dwt chemical tankers for Odfjell with deliveries scheduled for June 2002 and December 2003, and a 37,000 dwt chemical tanker for Jo Tankers to be completed in January 2003.
With its existing facilities, Kleven Flor? can build two large ships per year, but this could be increased if more hull structural work was outsourced. Orders in hand give the yard a full workload for 2002 and a good basis for 2003. Negotiations are at present under way to bring in contracts for vessels for delivery in the first half of 2004.
Kleven Maritime is a group of companies with capabilities within ship and shipbuilding technology, as well as ship design. The group companies and yards develop and build complex ships, with the primary areas being specialised stainless steel tankers, offshore service vessels and passenger ships. The company says it works closely with some of the most demanding shipowners in the world, highly innovative ship designers and engineers, world leading manufacturers of ship equipment, equity and finance brokers, ship brokers and more. Group companies include Kleven Maritime, Kleven Industrier, Kleven Verft, Mykelbust Verft, Kleven Flor? and Kleven Flor? Consult.

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