Wilhelmsen new ro-ro is biggest ever

Stern view of the ‘Tønsberg’ showing the 500 tonne capacity quarter stern-ramp (Photo: Wilh. Wilhelmsen) Stern view of the ‘Tønsberg’ showing the 500 tonne capacity quarter stern-ramp (Photo: Wilh. Wilhelmsen)

The Wilh Wilhelmsen group in Norway has marked its 150th anniversary with the introduction of the first ‘Mark V’ Panamax ro-ro ship, Tønsberg, claimed to be the largest vessel of its type afloat.

The 31,824 dwt Mark V features a length of 265m and offers a cargo volume of 138,000m3 over six fixed and three hoistable decks. Tønsberg was built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan and is the lead-ship in a four-ship series of Mark V vessels ordered by Wilh Wilhelmsen and its partner Wallenius Lines. The second vessel will be delivered in August 2011 and the last two in 2012.

This new generation of ro-ro vessels for the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ‘Round the World Liner Service’ (RTW) is designed for efficient transportation and handling of high and heavy rolling cargo, non-containerised cargo, breakbulk, special project cargo and cars. The Mark V has 5% to 7% more capacity than the previous generation of ro-ro ships, the Mark IV, enabling greater volumes in round-the-world trades.

The RTW service is a 110 to 120 days round trip from Europe to US East Coast, Oceania, South East Asia, Far East, US West Coast, US East Coast and across the Atlantic back to Europe. Major design objectives were optimum hull shape to give good form stability and low resistance, good transport economy, efficient and safe cargo handling and minimum environmental impact. Wilhelmsen technical department developed the design in close cooperation with the shipyard and has been responsible for follow-up work at the yard.

Despite the increased capacity, the Mark V will use 15% to 20% less fuel per unit transported compared to the Mark IV. This is as a result of an optimised hull shape and a number of energy saving features such as the streamlined rudder design and duck tail which have significantly reduced resistance. The improved stability of the vessel also reduces the need for ballast water.

The vessel is arranged with engine room aft, mooring decks forward and aft on deck 5 and wheelhouse forward to give space for weather-deck cargo. Accommodation is arranged for a crew of 36 in two tiers on the weather deck; one for public spaces and offices and one for living quarters to improve rest and recreation for the crew.

A low double-bottom construction reduces the vertical centre of gravity of lightship and cargo while protecting fuel oil in deep tanks forward and aft. Deck 5 is watertight to provide a second watertight barrier in addition to the freeboard deck (deck 4) and the hull is constructed with double-hull sides up to deck 5. Pilot ladder, gangway, bunker station and rescue boat (only port side) are arranged in one continuous recess on deck 5 on each side of the vessel with a free-fall lifeboat arranged aft with a safe emergency walkway from the accommodation block.

The cargo hold is arranged for efficient and safe cargo handling with completely flush bulkheads or horizontal cargo support rails to facilitate efficient stowing of breakbulk cargoes on all decks. Decks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, including the relevant 8m wide internal ramps, are strengthened for fork lift operations and roll trailers of varying payload with the main deck strengthened for heavy lift trailers. The total deck area in holds is about 50,335m2, of which 31,250m2 is reserved for high and heavy rolling cargo, while the upper weather deck has a cargo area of some 2,730 m2.

Part of the main deck has a higher clear height, up to 7.1m, than previous generations of ro-ro ships to accommodate heavy cargo such as excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders and harvesters. With a width of 12m and safe working load of 505 tonnes, compared to the 380-tonne capacity of the previous model, the stern ramp offers the possibility to ship larger units than before. The weather deck, which has a 4m wide ramp from the deck below to reduce dependence on shore side mobile cranes, is arranged for the traditional transportation of containers, project cargo such as windmill blades and yachts as well as for empty cargo-carrying equipment such as mafi trailers. In general, the ramp system is arranged to allow simultaneous cargo operations on all decks.

Three decks can be hoisted by electric winches to provide maximum flexibility and utilisation, with two of them, 6 and 8, intended for cars and constructed with plywood plating to save weight. The main deck height is 6.4 to 7.1m, and on H&H decks 3.2 to 4.2m. Although experience with hydraulic jigger winches in use in the company’s present fleet is excellent, electrical winches have been used on the Mark V to eliminate the risk of hydraulic oil spills.

Propulsion power is provided by a single electronically controlled slow speed, two-stroke 7-cylinder MAN B&W L70ME-C8 derated diesel engine with a MCR output of 20,100kW at 108rpm and a normal output of 18,090kW. The newbuilding is propelled by a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) 7.3m diameter 6-bladed fixed pitch propeller to give a service speed of 20.25 knots.

Electric power for normal sea going conditions is provided by a Mitsubishi AT42M steam turbine generator, with an output of 1,200kWe, and a 1,100kWe Taiyo Electric shaft generator model SIGW 95DL-18. In port and during manoeuvring, electric power is provided by three Taiyo Electric 2,400kW auxiliary generator sets model FEW 65D-10. There is also a 1,200 kWe Taiyo FEW 50DL-4 turbo generator.

In the engine room an advanced turbo waste heat generator, which produces electricity from exhaust heat, helps to cut emissions significantly by reducing the total annual fuel consumption by an estimated 5 to 6% while CO2, SOx and particulate matter (PM) emissions will fall proportionally and NOx emissions by about 3%.

The vessel is highly manoeuvrable thanks to an efficient low resistance twisted-edge rudder with bulb from Becker Marine Systems and two 2,500kW Kawasaki KT-219B5 transverse thrusters, one each at the bow and the stern, each providing a 28.5 tonne thrust. All ancillary systems and fuel tanks are arranged for operation on low sulphur HFO and MDO.

The vessel’s water ballast tanks, with a total capacity of 16,080m3, comprise two pair of tanks in the double bottom to avoid excessive amounts of WB and reduce the free surface effect. Water ballast lines are arranged in double bottom with valves in a dry box for easy and continuous access. A Unitor ballast water treatment system is fitted with a 5ppm bilge water separator which, together with biodegradable stern tube oil, contributes to reduced emissions to the sea. All WB wing tanks are connected to an anti-heel system and all fuel oil tanks are protected to minimise the risk of leakage in case of grounding or collision.

Systems and equipment have been designed to minimise energy consumption. Examples include chill water air conditioning system, extra insulation in the accommodation block, dual speed water ballast pumps and several separate light zones in the cargo hold.

Built for unlimited worldwide operation, the Mark V design is classed by DNV to class notations + 1A1 General Cargo Carrier / Ro/Ro, PWDK, PET, MCDK, E0, TMON, built to the voluntary ‘Clean’ class notation, and delivered with a Clean passport. The new design also complies with IMO guidelines (resolution A.962(23)) concerning ship recycling. This ‘green passport’ ensures that any potentially hazardous materials used in the construction of the ship, its equipment and systems are carefully handled and documented.

“We expect that Mark V will strengthen our position as the global market leader within deep sea roll-on roll-off transport”, says Jan Eyvin Wang, president and CEO of Wilh Wilhelmsen. “The Mark V class are the most sophisticated ro-ro vessels ever built, with major innovative design criteria such as high ramp capacity, deck strength and height, low fuel consumption, good transportation economy and safe cargo handling. Together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, we have constructed a class of environmentally friendly vessels with several unique features”.

The company experienced a strong rebound in its shipping operations in 2010, with a 25% increase in transported volumes in 2010 compared with 2009. “The market demands new and more effective tonnage, and we foresee the Mark V class as a dynamic driver in its segment”, explains Wang. “Tønsberg will make Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics unique position in the market for transport of high and heavy cargo even stronger.” 

“The Tønsberg is a welcome addition to our fleet, allowing us to carry larger cargo, and more of it, with reduced environmental impacts,” says Arild Iversen, president and CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. “Tønsberg and our entire 2011 newbuilding programme mean better service, more options and more capacity for our customers. Such investments are how we maintain our promise to deliver innovative and sustainable global shipping and logistics solutions for manufacturers of cars, trucks, heavy equipment and specialised cargo.”

Manning and technical management will be performed by Wilhelmsen Ship Management Norway. Tønsberg will fly the Maltese flag, and be owned by Wilhelmsen Lines Shipowning Malta, which is owned by Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA.

Principal particulars

Length oa    265m

Length bp   250m

Breadth (moulded) 32.26m

Depth to upper deck 33.22m

Depth to main deck 15.20m

Design draught  11m

Scantling draught 12.30m

Air draught 46m maximum

Deadweight design 31,824 tonnes

Gross tonnage  76,500 gt

Service speed 20.25 knots

Main engine 1 x MAN B&W L70ME-C8 derated diesel mechanical engine with a MCR output of 20,100kW at 108 rpm

Service speed  20.25 knots


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