A Consortium led by the U.K.-based Graig Group
and its China-based subsidiary have given a boost to the Diamond 53, a new, future-proof double-hull
ultra-handymax bulk carrier design, by signing a letter of intent to build four vessels, with four options, at CSIC yards in China. Delivery of the
first of a series of Diamond 53 type vessels is scheduled for 2004.
"Double hull bulk carriers are the way forward," says Hugh Williams, CEO of Graig. "The Diamond 53 design developed over the past 12 months offers
owners and charterers major operational cost savings, while significantly enhancing safety and environmental protection. The design features ensure that the vessel will exceed any future standards which come out of the studies into bulk carrier safety which IMO and IACS are currently
conducting. Given our experience of successfully building over 25 vessels for a range of prominent shipowners building in China, and the excellent
financial package we have developed for this design, we are very confident that the Diamond 53 will give us a competitive advantage in what is a
changing and demanding market place."
The Diamond 53 ultra-handymax double-hull bulk carrier design has been developed jointly by Graig and Denmarks' Carl Bro, with whom Graig has a joint venture design company based in Shanghai. While the vessel has been designed with very much the future in mind, it is firmly based on
operational experience both from owners and class. The vessels will be classed with DNV: - DnV +1A1 Bulk Carrier with full Nauticus package
including a full 3-D model.
The first series of ships are intended to be built at Bohai and other nominated CSIC Shipyards in northern China. Graig China
Shanghai-based supervision teams will oversee the building.
Diamond 53 is a geared, wide-hatched, 53,000 dwt handymax bulk carrier with double hull. The vessel has 5 cargo holds, equipped with end-folding hydraulically operated hatch covers and four 36 tonne electro-hydraulic luffing cranes.