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New hull design boosts fuel economy of ultra-large container ships up to 20%
7 September 2012
A collaboration involving APL, Hyundai Heavy Industries and DNV has resulted in a hull design that will make APL’s 10 new ultra-large container ships some 20% more fuel efficient per TEU (twenty-foot-equivalent unit, the cargo capacity of a standard intermodal container) compared with existing designs.
The design has been optimized for an operating profile along the Far East to Europe trade route involving nine speed and draught combinations. The installed propulsive power could be reduced by about 16% compared to the initial hullform optimized for one draft & speed condition.
The resulting fuel savings will be worth about US$3 million per ship per year to APL. The first of the new 13,800 TEU ships is under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and will be delivered next year.
In the current challenging market environment it is extremely important for APL to introduce efficient and flexible container ships, which help us to reduce slot costs. These ships will be the most fuel-efficient ships ever built to the Asia-Europe container trade. APL has decided to advance the delivery of the newbuildings, which have been ordered in 2011 using their superior fuel efficiency and to make a contribution to cutting emissions as soon as possible.—Cedric Foo, Group Deputy President and CFO of APL’s mother company NOL
Traditionally, container ships spend much of their time operating at off-design conditions which increase hull resistance and reduce propeller and engine efficiency. In this case, the ships will operate at speeds typically ranging from 15 to 19.5 knots but with a maximum speed of about 23 knots. With the aid of advanced software and virtual sea trials, the three partners were able to analyse the proposed trading pattern of the ships and optimize accordingly.
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