Cement trade gains new self-discharger

'Cymbidium' will ply her trade in the Caribbean region 'Cymbidium' will ply her trade in the Caribbean region

Purpose-designed for the transport and self-reliant discharge of bulk cement, the 7,800dwt Cymbidium was delivered by the Royal Bodewes group in early January for trade in the Caribbean region, writes David Tinsley.

Management and operation is under the aegis of the Limassol, Cyprus-headquartered SMT Shipping, a specialist in cement carriers, self-loading and self-discharging bulkers, and transhipment vessels, whose fleet includes a smaller version of the Cymbidium, the 2017-built, 6,145dwt Furuvik.

In both cases, the hull is a bespoke derivation of multipurpose cargo vessels of the Bodewes Eco Trader type, with the addition of the unique Groot Cross-Bow foreship form, and embracing the added technical complexity of cement loading and unloading arrangements and pneumatic handling systems.

The 115m-long Cymbidium is thereby the latest testament to Dutch shipbuilders’ competitiveness in niche sectors, drawing on primary construction in Poland and final outfitting at Royal Bodewes’ Papenburg premises in Germany.

The vessel is arranged with four holds, affording an overall capacity of 8,309m3, served by a weather-protected and dust-free discharge system, wherein the cargo is fluidised by means of compressed air. Cement is loaded using gravity and air slides. The absence of conventional hatch covers, with cargo outturn effected in a fully self-enclosed, continuous manner, makes for a sealed and efficient system, preserving cargo condition and tonnage, and meeting strict environmental standards by obviating dust pollution during handling.

The highly distinctive bow and forecastle configuration represented by the Groot Cross-Bow design achieves a wave-piercing action, requiring less engine power for a given speed and making for improved seakeeping and onboard habitability in head seas and rough weather.

In fact, the relatively low propulsive power of 2,999kW installed in the Furuvik has been perpetuated in the 15m-longer Cymbidium. As before, this is imbued by a six-cylinder MaK M32C medium-speed engine manufactured in Germany by Caterpillar Motoren. Electrical outfitting and automation were completed by Alewijnse Marine with the ship at Royal Bodewes’ quay in Papenburg.

It is claimed that fuel consumption and associated emissions are 20% lower for Cymbidium than for comparably-sized vessels due to a combination of features including the special bow design, the underwater hull form, and size and nature of the integrated power installation.

Cymbidium loaded her first cargo in Aalborg, Denmark, but is destined for deployment serving the construction industry in the Caribbean, under a joint initiative thought to involve the shipowner and a leading Colombian group.

SMT’s previous self-discharging cement carrier, the 100m-long Furuvik, entered service last spring, having been tailored to the requirements of year-round Baltic trade, and dimensioned to meet constraints set by certain Finnish ports.

The hull was fabricated in Poland by Partner Stocznia and transferred for final outfitting and completion to prime contractor Royal Bodewes’ Hoogezand yard in the north Netherlands. Partner Stocznia at Szczecin also played a fundamental role in the Cymbidium newbuild project.

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