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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

AAL Christens New Heavy Lift Ship in China

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 2, 2024

AAL Limassol (Photo: AAL Shipping)

AAL Limassol (Photo: AAL Shipping)

A formal naming ceremony was held at the CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company in the Chinese province of Quanzhou on April 26 for AAL Shipping’s new heavy lift vessel, AAL Limassol.

Due to sail on her maiden voyage from China into Europe, the 32,000 deadweight AAL Limassol is set to carry a full weather deck of project heavy lift cargo, including two 135-meter-long barges, weighing 1,650 tonnes and fifteen 80.5-meter-long wind blades. The newbuild will sail under the Cyprus flag.

Kyriacos Panayides, CEO of AAL Shipping, said, “Through an excellent three-year collaboration between our own engineering team, CSSC, the design team at SDARI, our sister company Columbia Ship Management (CSM), and the multiple project customers with whom we closely liaised at every stage of development, we have produced a unique fleet of vessels that marks a new era for AAL and set new standards for the project heavy lift shipping sector.

“The AAL Limassol and her sister vessels have been painstakingly designed and equipped to handle not just the most complex and outsized cargoes of today, but those of tomorrow – continuing AAL’s legacy of investment in innovation and customer-driven strategy.  Considering the ebbs and flows of the shipping sector and the hard work put-in by the AAL team at every level to expand our global footprint and deliver regular trade lane coverage for the global breakbulk and project community, we could not be more excited for the future and the strengthening of our service offering.”

AAL’s new Super B-Class fleet is the carrier’s third generation of newbuilds and will expand its heavy lift fleet to 27 vessels and a total tonnage to 768,000 deadweight tonnes.

AAL said its six Super B-Class vessels currently ordered feature innovative design and specification for greater intake and safer handling of heavy lift cargo. These include the positioning of the bridge and accommodation block at the fore for better sailing visibility, when carrying very tall cargoes, a 700-tonne maximum lift capacity via three port mounted cranes, dual fuel capability for increased sustainability and the retractable ‘AAL ECO-DECK’ that adds 600 square meters to the weather deck – bringing its clear on-deck cargo stowage space to over 5,000 square meters.

Yahaya Sanusi, Deputy Head of AAL Shipping’s Transport Engineering Department, explained, “With their two huge cargo holds and three 350-tonne cranes, the new vessels are designed to accommodate even larger and taller cargoes than those we can currently handle. The forward positioning of the bridge and superstructure allows us to transport the very tallest of cargoes without compromising visibility. If necessary, we can even stow and transport super tall cargoes in the holds with the hatch covers open.

“Compared to similar vessels in the water, these new vessels have a very high cargo intake volume and are extremely flexible. This fulfils the needs of our clients, who can reduce logistic costs by limiting the number of voyages when transporting their large project cargoes. For example, the wind sector is producing far bigger nacelles and towers than ever before. Such turbines match perfectly well with the Super B-Class’ design concept, as well as those cargoes for other industry sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and mining – items like rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), port cranes, pipe racks / modules, and oversized mining components.”