Unique Bulk Carrier Launched

Friday, September 16, 2005
The Graig Group has launched a unique double-hull handysize bulk carrier design with an eight-ship order in Vietnam. Graig has contracted four Graig Carl Bro-designed Diamond 34 bulkers, with four options, to be built at Vinahsin's Pha Rung shipyard. Delivery dates begin in mid 2007.

The Diamond 34 is a new design 34,000 dwt handysize geared five hatch double hull bulk carrier which builds on the success of Graig's Diamond 53 double hull handymax design. Graig is in the final stages of ordering six more Diamond 53s to be built in Vietnam, bringing to thirty-five the total number of these vessels ordered to date.

Hugh Williams, ceo of Graig, says, "This expansion of the Diamond concept into a new size range makes all the proven success factors of the Diamond available to handysize operators. We have had excellent feedback from the five Diamond 53's already delivered, and we have developed this new Diamond 34 based on the same concepts. We are also very happy to extend our co-operation with Vinashin, which allows them to further develop their yards and Graig to procure excellent tonnage with early delivery dates."

Feedback from the five Diamond 53 vessels delivered from Chinese yards and now in service for Norway's Spar Shipping and Turkey's Densan Shipping indicate that power requirements for service speeds are lower than expected. At the same time, masters report excellent manoeuvrability, which has led to savings on tug costs, cargo friendliness helping to cut loading and discharging time, and major savings of time in cargo hold cleaning.

The development of the Diamond 34 design is focussed on:

* economical operation / maintenance * environmental friendliness

* loading flexibility and robustness

* future regulations for bulk carriers

* safety

The double hull concept ensures easy discharging and cargo hold cleaning, as well as a strong and robust hull structure and good environmental protection, with all bunker tanks coffered from the ships sides. The bulkhead framing and side frames are all outside the holds, ensuring clean surfaces in the holds. Cargo friendliness is ensured with large hatch openings and no lower hopper side tanks in holds 2, 3 and 4. Although there is a floodable ballast hold, normal ballast condition doe not require the hold to be flooded, and all ballast can be sequentially exchanged at sea. The vessel is fitted with four cranes up to 36 tonne capacity each.

The double side skin ensures safe access for close-up survey of the complete hull structure, even when the vessel is loaded. Furthermore, green water protection - by the forecastle and the protected underdeck passage to the fore decks - improves the safe operation of the vessel. The underdeck passage way also carries all electrical and pipe services thus giving a clean easy to maintain deck space. Cargo hold lighting units are also easily accessible from this area.

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