Grimaldi orders MAN B&W engines for new hybrid RoRos

MAN Energy Solutions has won the order to supply MAN B&W ME-C main engines for 9 new hybrid RoRo vessels for Grimaldi. MAN Energy Solutions has won the order to supply MAN B&W ME-C main engines for 9 new hybrid RoRo vessels for Grimaldi (credit: Knud E. Hansen)

MAN Energy Solutions has won the order to supply 18 × MAN B&W 9S50ME-C9.6 TIER II-compliant main engines for 9 × 7,800 lane-metre RoRo vessels intended for operation in the Mediterranean Sea. The customer is the Grimaldi Group, the Naples, Italy-based shipping company and leading operator within the RoRo segment.

The vessels are to be built at Jiangsu Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China, while the engines will be built in Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (Engine & Machinery Business Unit) under licence. The first vessels are expected to be delivered from 2020. Each engine will also be fitted with 1 × MAN TCA66 turbocharger.

The new RoRos are the first examples of a new series of hybrid vessels, which will use fuel oil during navigation and lithium mega-batteries in harbour, thus guaranteeing ‘zero emissions in port’ while still satisfying energy requirements at berth. The batteries will be recharged during navigation through shaft generators adding the so-called peak shaving system. The vessels will be fitted with 600 m2 of solar panels.

The vessels, which were designed by Technical and Energy Saving Department of the Grimaldi Group together with Denmark-based Engineering Design house Knud E. Hansen also feature an air lubrication system under the keel, creating bubble layers which will reduce friction and hydrodynamic resistance, and consequently lowering fuel consumption.

Bjarne Foldager – Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions – said: “The bidding process was very competitive but, happily, a clear preference was expressed for our engines. Our technology will play a crucial role in this innovative hybrid propulsion system that really points the way for shipping in the future.”

The new RoRos are part of what Grimaldi calls its “Green 5th Generation” that represents a significant expansion and modernisation of the company’s fleet. They will have a length of 238 metres, a beam of 34 metres and a gross tonnage of 64,000 tonnes with a loading capacity of 7,800 linear metres, equivalent to about 500 trailers, double that of the Neapolitan group’s current, largest such vessel and triple that of its previous generation of RoRo ships. Despite the increase in loading capacity, the fuel consumption is the same at the same speed compared with Grimaldi’s existing vessels, implying a 100% increase in tonne/mile fuel efficiency.

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