Great Ships of 2018: #4 - Beluga Ace
Beluga Ace: New Design Car Carrier with Six Liftable Decks
Beluga Ace, the first vessel of next-generation FLEXIE series car carrier built by the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., was delivered to Japanese shipowner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) in March 2018. The space onboard was rearchitected using the design concept. The six liftable decks, compared with two on conventional car carriers, allow loading of vehicles with different heights. As a result, loading efficiency was improved by 6.25% from the conventional type of car carrier, which enables the vessel to meet demand for more diversified vehicle and high and heavy cargo transport.
The FLEXIE series vessels adopt an array of advanced environmental technologies, which were developed in the MOL Group research and technology project, “Senpaku ISHIN project,” successfully achieving a reduction of 13.7% in CO2 emissions compared to conventional vessels. As part of the reduction, the rounded bow shape will minimize wind resistance and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2%.
The FLEXIE series aims to realize safer, more reliable, and more secure operations by introducing a navigation information display system that adopts augmented reality (AR) technology for the first time to support the officers steering the ship, and adopting vibration sensors to spot defects machinery before they cause a breakdown. These have great potential in realizing future automatic ship operation. The hull design is a complete departure from current car carriers, boldly presenting “MOL” and the letter “A”, representing a global brand of “MOL ACE (MOL Auto Carrier Express)”, and a white line, which expresses the company’s determination to connect its long history of customer service to the future in a seamless manner. As of November 2018, three vessels in the series are in operation, and the number is to increase to four by March 2019.
BELUGA ACE Main Particulars
Ship’s Name BELUGA ACE
Ship Type 6,800RT Pure Car Carrier
Ship Builder Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
Ship Operator MOL
Ship Designer Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
Delivery Date March 15, 2018
Flag of Registry Panama
Length (OA) 199.95 m
Length (BP) 191.55 m
Breadth (molded) 32.2 m
DWT (at Scantling Draft) 15,425 MT
Depth (molded) 37.4 m
Design Draft (molded) 9 m
Speed (at Design Draft) 19.9 knots
Main Engine MITSUI-MAN B&W 7S60ME-C8.5