Supervised by DNV GL, the move increases MSC Geneva’s cargo capacity by more than 20%, from its capacity will be increased from 4,860teu to 6,300teu, as well as increasing its stability.
The vessel is the first of three set to undergo the process, which is designed to make existing vessels more competitive in light of the newly widened Panama Canal, and will be followed by Buxhai and MSC Carouge.
Reederei claims that buying a used ship and having it widened, which can add between two and four container rows, is faster, cheaper, and more environmentally sustainable than ordering a new one.
“We all quickly realized that what we had there was a one-of-a-kind concept,” said cfo Lutz Müller. “A central element of our innovation is that we cut the ship in low-use [forward] areas. The widening significantly increases both the load carrying capacity and the transverse stability.
“In addition, sustainability - an aspect that is getting ever more important in shipping - is increased too. Carbon emissions per ton of cargo will be substantially reduced. Moreover, converting a ship instead of scrapping it will be less harmful to the environment than building a new ship.”
Reederei vp Bozidar Petrovic explained: “Candidates for the widening are panamax ships delivered after 2005. We believe that the market potential is big. The enquiries we received in the past months indicate that the special know-how we have acquired is very much in demand.”
“We were extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with NSB on this project from its beginning,” says Marcus Ihms, DNV GL ship type expert for container vessels. “As this is a major conversion we worked intensively with NSB, the yard and flag state authorities to ensure that all of the applicable environmental and safety rules were met. But we believe that this is a solution that allows forward thinking owners to keep their vessels competitive in the market for longer.”
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