China’s Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipyard, a prolific builder of container vessels, has delivered the first of a new type of 4,770 teu baby-overpanamax ships. The ship has been named HAMMONIA ISTRIA and she will soon join Emirates Shipping Line under the charter name EMIRATES PEARL.
The Dubai-based carrier will deploy the ship to its ‘CIS’ China – India service, offered in partnership with OOCL and APL (who market the loop as ‘CIX’). ESL provides one of the six ships on the service and the EMIRATES PEARL will replace the 4,250 teu JPO VELA, which is to be returned to her owners.
The HAMMONIA ISTRIA is the first of two units ordered by Hammonia Shipping of Hamburg and she will be followed by the HAMMONIA TOSCANA. So far, a total of ten sister ships have been ordered, all by German non-operating owners. Six of the ships, including the Hammonia twins will be managed by Peter Doehle, whereas four ships will be controlled by Hansa Shipping. Even though the gearless vessels are all believed to be identical, their official intake varies between 4,770 teu and 4,957 teu, depending on their respective owners. Most likely, there is no factual reasons for these differences other than more or less optimistic assumptions regarding realistic container deck loads.
With a length over all of 255.10m and a beam of 37.30m (15 rows), and a MAN B&W 6 S80ME-C9 main engine, the new Jiangsu 4,800 teu type bears some resemblance with the Hyundai-built Maersk Wafmax (Maersk-C-type) series. In addition to similar dimensions and an identical main engine, the ship types also both offer 600 reefer plugs. The main difference is of course that the Maersk ships are fully geared, whereas the Jiangsu type is gearless.
Given their size, efficiency and versatility, baby-over panamaxes like these seem the natural successors for many ageing panamaxes and maxi-panamaxes that need to be replaced in coming years.