Workmanlike ship from Japan: reefer Boyang Bering pictured after delivery in the Kanmon Strait (credit: Kyokuyo Shipbuilding). Workmanlike ship from Japan: reefer Boyang Bering pictured after delivery in the Kanmon Strait (credit: Kyokuyo Shipbuilding).
Industry Database

Although the containerised mode and major container lines now command by far the greatest share of seaborne refrigerated cargo, specialist breakbulk reefer operators have implemented a clutch of newbuild projects in recent years, writes David Tinsley.

Testament to such resilience and business response to demand in niche sectors of the small to mid-size reefer vessel market is a recently completed contract for two Japanese-built 307,000ft-capacity ships in the conventional mould. The 134m sisters Boyang Bering and Boyang Alaska, constructed by Kyokuyo Shipbuilding to the account of South Korean interests, offer scope across the temperature-controlled cargo range, with particular provision for fish transportation and high-seas transhipment.

Ordered by the Seoul-based Boyang company, and managed by Khana Marine of Busan, each vessel has four main holds horizontally divided by tweendecks, affording multiple, freezer compartments. Cargo handling is achieved using a total of eight main, swinging derricks heeled to the pairs of posts between Nos1 and 2 and Nos3 and 4 holds, respectively.

The ships’ cargo gear and operating performance reflect the particular requirements of offshore and at-sea transfers on the fishing grounds, and the vessels carry the necessary authorisations for operations in areas subject to strict federal control of fishery resources, not least in the northwest Pacific Ocean.

Boyang Bering and Boyang Alaska are each powered by a seven-cylinder model of the MAN L35MC engine, rated for 4,550kW at 210rpm, a relatively fast running speed in the context of European two-stroke designs. The machinery was manufactured under licence on Shikoku Island at the Takamatsu factory of Makita Corporation. To handle the high electrical loads imposed by refrigerated cargoes, each shipset of auxiliaries comprises three 800kVA generators.

Located at Shimonoseki, on the Kanmon Strait at the western end of Japan’s Inland Sea, Kyokuyo is a respected, privately-owned builder of bespoke vessels for both domestic and foreign clients, and has a long track record in reefership production. Since the early 1990s, its best-selling designs have been a 235,000ft3 type suited to both fruit and fishery products, a 200,000ft3 ultra-low temperature (-50degC) class developed mainly for frozen fish transportation, and a versatile, 400,000ft3 general reefer trader.

Five newbuilds of various ship types were delivered over the course of 2018, illustrating the characteristic diversity of the yard’s output. The list of completions entailed a 7,000m3 semi-refrigerated LPG carrier, a 7,500m3 pressurised LPG tanker, a 1,096 TEU regional containership, one ultra-low temperature reefer vessel, and a 670 TEU coastal feeder container carrier.

The latter, commissioned as the Nagara, is distinguished by her aerodynamic, hemispherical-like prow first used for the 2010-built car carrier City of St Petersburg. She is the second Imoto Lines feeder from Kyokuyo, and the fifth vessel all-told, to use the semi spherical-shaped (SSS) bow form devised by the yard.

A further reefer newbuilding figures in Kyokuyo’s forward production programme, along with a fourth 7,000m3 LPG carrier and three 1,100TEU boxships.

PRINCIPAL PARTICULARS - Boyang Bering/Boyang Alaska

Length overall








Gross tonnage


Cargo capacity


Main engine power



3 x 800kVA








ATZ Marine Case Study

Date: March - April 2019 Customer Name: UK Cruise Operator AtZ Contact: Project Engineer Clive ... Read more


When a customer in Singapore contacted Vickers Oils needing urgent help, we were able to deliver des... Read more

Vickers Oils BIOGEAR XP – “10 years trouble free operation”

Trinity House, a UK based charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers since 1514, has b... Read more

Stolt Tankers and DESMI Ocean Guard sign Frame Agreement

Stolt Tankers and DESMI Ocean Guard sign Frame Agreement for the Supply of CompactClean Ballast Wate... Read more

DESMI Ocean Guard’s CompactClean Ballast Water Management System receives

DESMI Ocean Guard’s CompactClean Ballast Water Management System receives amended US Coast Guard Typ... Read more

Making hard choices for materials that last the distance

DESMI has gained a solid reputation over the years for selecting exactly the right materials for its... Read more

View all