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GL designs 'new' Panamax boxship of 14,000teu

GL designs 'new' Panamax boxship of 14,000teu

Hamburg: Containership specialist Germanischer Lloyd has released details of a new, innovative design of containership which it says is optimised for the dimensions of the expanded Panama Canal. After a referendum in late October approved the $5.25bn plan to double capacity, a new third set of Canal locks measuring 427mtr long by 55mtr wide and 27.7mtr tall wil now be added by 2014-5.

While the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has talked of the expanded Canal being able to take 12,000teu vessels, GL has come up with a design that would be capable of carrying 14,000 standard containers, 2,000 more. Today's Panamax containerships can carry up to 5,050teu.

The new-design ship is 398mtr long, 54.2mtr wide and 27.7mtr tall, able to stack containers in 10 layers with 19 rows below deck and 21 rows above. Main engine output will be approximately 90,000kW at a speed of 25.5 knots, based on either a single or twin engine concept. Importantly, the deckhouse will be seprated from the engine room and positioned in the forward part of the ship, to allow greater container capacity and satisfy safety requirements.

However, GL notes that the ACP used a smaller post-Panamax ship (366mtr x 49mtr x 15mtr) as reference vessel for design of the new locks - which will employ tugs rather than the traditional locomotives to position vessels - and says it therefore remains "a question of debate" whether these optimized types of vessels into the new locks. 

There will be an opportunity for ACP Administrator Alberto Aleman to shed some light on the matter when he delivers a keynote presentation to Asian users of the Canal during the opening conference session of the Sea Asia event in Singapore April 2-4. [09/01/07]

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