AAL Increases Newbuild Order from Four to Six
Singapore-based heavy lift and bulk shipping company AAL Shipping announced it has increased the number of vessels in its latest newbuild series from four to six.
In November 2021, AAL announced the launch of its third-generation newbuilding plan with the initial order of four 32,000 deadweight (DWT) Super B-Class multipurpose vessels from China’s Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard. The carrier, which already operates a fleet of 25 heavy lift multipurpose vessels (MPV) globally, has now increased its order to six vessels.
The design of these vessels was a collaboration between AAL’s engineering and commercial teams working alongside sister company, Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM).
Nicola Pacifico, Global Head of AAL’s Transport Engineering Department, said, "The Super B-Class will have the capability to accommodate safely more than 60,000 freight tonnes (FRT) of cargo on a single sailing and literally any cargo big and small. The already significant clear weather deck space of 146 x 26 meters will feature unique extendable pontoons that can increase stowage space even further, as well as allowing certain cargoes to safely overhang the deck when required, like wind blades.
"With the bridge and accommodation block positioned forward, our crews will have unobscured sailing visibility and no physical restriction on cargo height. Moreover, the vessels can also sail with open hatch covers, enabling extremely tall and over-dimensional units to be stowed safely in hold space. And, despite significant cargo intake volume and size (vessels will be just shy of 180m in length), the hull design of the Super B-Class will deliver a 6.5 meter minimum draft, allowing AAL to call at far smaller and more remote ports, which is perfect for employment on dedicated large projects."
Yahaya Sanusi, Deputy Head of AAL’s Transport Engineering Department and the naval architect responsible for many of the ideas incorporated into the vessels’ innovative design, said, "Three heavy lift cranes positioned along the vessels’ port side will feature 350t lift each and combinable up to 700t max. Tandem lifting can be done in combination with both crane number 1 and 2, and crane number 2 and 3. This enables cargo loading at both the fore and aft of the vessel – optimizing deck space and capacity and mitigating the need to lift large project cargo into just one area and move it by other means into final stowage position which is time and labor intensive. The cranes are also designed with a wider outreach of 35.7 meters at higher lifting capacity and render far more flexibility and options when loading large and / or heavy units."
Under deck there will be two box-shaped cargo holds, one a staggering 68 x 25 meters, and the other 38 x 25 meters and with a height of 15.6 meters. They also feature adjustable pontoon triple deck capabilities as required, to optimize cargo intake. With no center line bulkhead, the holds are designed to perfectly accommodate dry bulk commodities and optimized for stowage of dangerous IMO cargoes.
The Super B-Class will be dual fuel and methanol ready and run-on MAN main engines of 7,380 kW - supported by 2 x 1,700 kW and 1 x 1,065 kWauxiliary diesel generators. The vessels will be NOx Tier III compatible with HPSCR, EEDI phase 3 compliancy, featuring a projected service speed of 14.5 knots. They will also feature modern ballast water treatment systems and innovative hull coating that delivers greater fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Overall, the Super B-Class will meet the highest possible automation and emission standards, as well as complying with IMO regulations on emissions and sustainability for environmental protection.
Five of the Super B-Class will be named after major breakbulk ports: AAL Antwerp, AAL Hamburg, AAL Houston, AAL Dubai and AAL Dammam. The sixth vessel will proudly bear the name AAL Limassol, in tribute to the town where AAL’s story first began in 1995.