Grimaldi Homes in on Ropax Orders

Grimaldi Group is poised to put pen to paper on an order for 10 hybrid ro-ro vessels, as well as a EUR 60m ($70m) investment for the lengthening of a pair of cruise ro-pax ferries.

An order for the environmentally friendly ro-ro newbuildings to be fitted with some of the largest lithium batteries, will be awarded to yards in the coming weeks, managing director Emanuel Grimaldi told a conference in Italy today. He said the order would be for six hybrid ro-ro ferries and four options, with deliveries starting from 2020.

The so-called GGG5 project, which has been in the pipeline for a year, has been designed together with Danish naval architect Knud E Hansen.

The ships will emit zero emissions in port as a result of being fitted with lithium fuel cells.

“This is the first time in the world that such type of batteries are installed on this class of ships,” Grimaldi told the 21st Euromed Conference.

The new ships will be equipped with an air lubrication system creating bubble layers beneath the hull, to reduce friction and consumption.

Solar panels and electrical pumping systems will be added. The vessels will have scrubbers installed to reduce by over 40 times their sulphur emissions and be ready to comply with all sulphur limitation rules.

Grimaldi told a conference in Sardinia today that the company planned to make additional investment in other sectors including lengthening of roro vessels and ropax cruise ferries.

The cruise ferries will be expanded to give additional room for 500 seated people and 50 cabins, raising the passenger capacity from 3000 to 3500. The ships would also have additional space for 50 more trailers and 50 cars.

Grimaldi said the Fincantieri order will be finalised around October, with delivery of the enlarged vessel set to take place in the first half of 2019.

By Ian Lewis- Tradewinds

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