After successful sea trials, the first ever container ship to undergo a process of widening, the MSC Geneva, reentered liner service for Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) today between China and South America.
The MSC Geneva, owned by German ship manager Reederei NSB, is the first of altogether three NSB ships to be converted under the widening project.
The sea trials took place from June 19th to 21st and “went without a hitch,” as described by Reederei NSB, and the class certificates showing the new main dimensions were issued accordingly.
On June 18th NSB, the company’s partners Huarun Dadong Shipyard (HRDD) and Technolog GmbH, and some 150 guests celebrated the world premiere of the first widened container freighter, which included a tour of the widened ship in Shanghai.
“No one has ever cut a container ship longitudinally from the superstructure to the bow to widen it. We are very proud of our team who widened the MSC Geneva and thus demonstrated the viability of our concept. The ship will prove that it can keep up with the other carriers that ply the world’s oceans,” Tim Ponath, Chief Operative Officer of Reederei NSB, said at Xingchong Hotel in Shanghai at the official celebration following the tour.
The developments in building of containerships are extremely fast. Panamax vessels delivered after 2004 are no longer competitive today; they may even have to be scrapped at high cost before their expected lifespan is up.
The conversion enhances the competitive edge of Panamax container freighters, increasing their operational efficiency and improving their carbon footprint.
Depending on the ship type, the conversion adds up to four container rows to the ship, increasing the load-carrying capacity by about 30%. Instead of 4,872 containers, a widened ship can load 6,336 boxes. Apart from the load-carrying capacity, the conversion also increases the ship’s transverse stability. On top, less ballast water is needed. The IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which will apply from 2025 onward, achieved by widened ships equals that of newbuildings.