Steady as she goes for Evergreen

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Ever Steady, the latest in a series of ten 7,024 TEU S-type vessels being built for Evergreen in Japan, has taken to the water for the first time. It was launched at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Kobe shipyard on August 22 at a ceremony hosted by Vice Group Chairman of Evergreen Group and Chairman of Evergreen Marine Corp, Chang Kuo-Cheng (K C Chang), and is due for delivery in December 2006, scheduled to enter service on the HTW service linking Southern China, Hong Kong and Taiwan with the West Coast of North America.

Ever Steady is the sixth vessel in this series. Four have already entered service with the Evergreen Group’s UK affiliate Hatsu Marine Ltd and the fifth, Ever Superb, is due for delivery at the end of this month.

The Evergreen Group is in the midst of taking delivery of 18 large post-Panamax containerships, the first of which was delivered in 2005. Eight 8,063 TEU C-types are already in service and the S-type series will complete in 2008.

The new S-type vessels are particularly noteworthy in that they incorporate many new environmental features that go well beyond the requirements of new and soon-to-be-introduced international requirements. They incorporate a double-skinned hull and all fuel tanks have been located within the transverse bulkhead spaces, thus minimising the risk of oil pollution or fire as a result of grounding or collision. A high capacity oily water separator enables the oil content of waste water to be reduced below 15 ppm while much larger separator bilge oil and bilge oil holding tanks provide more storage capacity than normal, enabling the vessels to avoid any discharge when sailing in sensitive areas and to maximise the amount of waste that can be held for ultimate disposal in specialised shore facilities.

Similar arrangements have been made for handling sewage and so-called grey water, including water from the cargo hold bilges, when the vessels are in port or close to shore.

The main engines and generators incorporate low NOx technology while the ships are also able to switch to low sulphur fuels when sailing in restricted areas such as the Baltic Sea.

‘Cold-ironing’, the ability to shut down all shipboard generators while in port, switching to shore-based electricity supplies, is also a feature of the S-class vessels. So far, only the Port of Los Angeles has initiated an Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) programme that requires ships to shut down their diesel generators while in port but Evergreen expects many more ports to follow LA’s lead. The Group estimates that the cost of meeting AMP requirements amounts to approximately $2m per vessel.

The latest tin-free anti-fouling systems are also being used for the underwater hull coatings of the S-types and are being applied to other vessels in the Evergreen fleet when they undergo routine drydockings. These new coatings are replacing systems that, although highly efficient and widely used globally, were found to have a negative impact on marine life.

Evergreen chose to class those S-class vessels allocated to Hatsu with Lloyd’s Register (LR) while those for operation by Evergreen Marine Corporation will be classed with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). It has obtained LR’s EP (environment protection) notation for the Hatsu ships and the equivalent ABS ES (environment safety) notation for the EIS vessels.

With an overall length of 300 m and a beam of 42.8 m, the S-class vessels are able to carry containers 17 rows across on deck and 15 rows across below deck. They have a deadweight of 78,700 tons on a service draft of 14.2 m. Each vessel has a single 10-cylinder Mitsubishi Sulzer 10RTA96C main engine developing 74,700bhp (54,900KW) to provide for a service speed of 25.3 knots.

The carriage of temperature-controlled containers, an increasingly important revenue source, is made possible with the provision of 839 reefer plugs.

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