Maersk Line receives record boxship MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOLLER (18,270 teu)

Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping line, today received the new MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOLLER, the world’s largest containership and the first in a series of twenty 18,270 teu jumbos. Built by South Korea’s DSME shipyard, the giant vessel class has been designated as Triple-E by Maersk Line, to stress the design’s focus on energy efficiency, ecomonies of scale and environmental friendliness.

The new ship is not only the largest container ship in the world, beating the former record holder by 2,250 teu, but also one of the most unique container ships around.

Maersk Line’s triple-E class vessels feature a fully redundant twin-engine, twin-propeller and twin-rudder propulsion system. Two MAN B&W 8S80ME-C 9.2 engines with an MCR of 29,680 kW will drive the ships at a moderate service speed of 22 knots. Two exhaust gas economizers have also been installed.

Five generator sets will provide 19,200 kW of electric power. In addition, two 3,000 kW shaft generators can convert main engine propulsion power into electricity, when the ship is steaming at sea. Using 10 – 11 kW per reefer container as a rule-of-thumb, the MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOLLER would be able to supply up to 1,800 temperature-controlled containers with electricity. Even though the new jumbo vessels are not particularly reefer-oriented, their sheer size could thus make then the world’s second-highest-capacity reefer container ships after Hamburg Süd’s CAP SAN NICOLAS series with 2,100 plugs.

The 399.00 m long and 59.00 m (23 rows) wide EEE-ships are only two metres longer and one row wider than Maersk Line’s Odense-built 15,500 teu EMMA-Maersk class. Apart from the increased beam, their intake advantage comes from a bulkier hull form, which is more U-shaped than V-shaped, and from the twin-island design which not only reduces the amount of space taken up by the propeller shaft, but also allows more layers of containers to be stacked without impairing visibility from the bridge. The lower sailing speeds needed in today’s eco-steaming environment allowed Maersk Line to opt for the bulkier hull shape.

At only 59,000 kW, compared to the EMMA-type’s 80,000 kW (close to 100,000 kW when electric boosters are operational), the triple-E also needs much less space for engine rooms and bunker tanks.

The lead ship of Maersk Line’s new vessel class is named after Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the son of Arnold Peter Moller who founded the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group in 1904. Mister Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller held the position of chairman of the Group until 2003, when he stepped down after 63 years with the company. He passed in 2012 at the age of 98.

The ship was christened two weeks ago at the DSME yard by Mrs Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla, the youngest daughter of Emma and Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller,

After an off-schedule trip to Vostochny, Russia, for bunkering, the MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOLLER will phase into the AE10 Asia-Europe-Baltic loop of Maersk Line in mid-July. She is to replace the 9,661 teu BUTTERFLY, which itself is a temporary replacement ship for the damaged EMMA MAERSK.

The AE10 normally employs a fleet of eight 15,500 teu EMMA-classes and four 13.000 teu neo-panamax ships. Following an engine room flooding of EMMA MAERSK in February, the ship is presently out of service.

Originally, Maersk Line had planned to have the MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOLLER replace the 13,092 teu MAERSK EUBANK. The carrier however changed its plans and deferred the newbuilding’s phase-in by two weeks.

On the whole Maersk Line is believed to plan to phase the first four of its triple-E classes into the AE10, where they will successively replace 13,000 teu units. In 2014, the Danish carrier might then restructure its network to create a dedicated EEE-Asia to Europe service with ten identical ships.

Details of the shipping line’s future Asia-Europe network are still sketchy though: Two weeks ago, Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM announced the launch of the new P3 alliance. This new partnership of the word’s top-three carrier is bound to lead to service mergers and loop consolidation and the exact structure of the carriers’ joint network has yet to be determined…

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