Further dry cargo newbuild for Scotline
A further phase of modernisation of UK shortsea operator Scotline’s fleet has been set in train through an order for a second newbuild dry cargo vessel of 4,785dwt from the Royal Bodewes Group, writes David Tinsley.
The latest deal signifies the exercising of an option attached to the contract for the first of the singledeckers, booked in January this year and scheduled for delivery in October 2018 as the Scot Carrier. The second coaster will be named Scot Explorer, and is expected to be launched during the third quarter of 2019.
The design specified for the newbuild pair is a derivative of that of the company’s 11 year-old, 4,500dwt Scot Leader, representing the Bodewes Trader class of general purpose, box-hold cargo vessel series developed and constructed by the Dutch shipbuilding group.
The newly-ordered Scot Explorer will be almost identical to the nascent Scot Carrier, featuring a single hold of approximately 62m in length within main hull dimensions of just under 90m overall by 15.2m breadth. Underdeck cargo volume will be about 240,000ft3, and the all-up timber capacity of more than 6,500m3 plus certification to Swedish/Finnish ice class 1B standard renders the design especially suited to core Scotline business in the year-round, Baltic forestry product trades.
In reference to its further award to the Dutch shipbuilding contractor, Scotline stated that “Throughout the build of the Scot Carrier, both parties have had regular and open dialogue, looking at different ideas and concepts in order for the partnership to work well for both family-owned companies.”
Each of the new vessels will be powered by an MaK medium-speed engine for a service speed of around 12 knots, and will be classed with Lloyd’s Register and registered under the UK flag. Manoeuvring at restricted berths in small ports and tidal rivers will be enhanced by a 300kW bow thrust unit. The company’s existing vessel of the type, Scot Leader, has a six-cylinder MaK M25 installation of 1,850kW. Scot Leader had been built for German owners, and was purchased by Scotline in 2017.
Scotline is based at Romford, in Greater London, and currently operates a fleet of 15 vessels ranging from 1,300-4,500dwt, including nine owned ships. The most recent addition was the 3,700dwt Scot Navigator, an exceptionally fuel-efficient coaster also emanating from the northern Netherlands shipbuilding industry, having been delivered in 2017 by GS Yard, formerly known as Groningen Shipyard (see the February print issue of The Motorship).
The UK firm maintains regular services linking Scandinavia, the Baltic, northwest Continent and the British Isles as well as engaging in the spot market. The fleet is complemented by group terminals in the UK at Rochester and Inverness.
Royal Bodewes boosted capacity by completing a new production hall in January 2015 alongside the existing hall at its main shipbuilding site at Hoogezand, on the Winschoterdiep waterway. It is now undertaking a further expansion programme, whereby the two production halls will be extended to the waterfront, allowing simultaneous construction of two ships side-by-side. The project includes improvements to the infrastructure and is due to be finished in the autumn of 2019.
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