China: Mingde Starts Construction of Two Equinox Class Bulk Carriers

Nantong Mingde Starts Construction of Two Equinox Class Bulk Carriers

The steel cutting ceremony of two state-of-the-art Equinox Class bulk carriers (MD156 & MD161) which are being built for Algoma Central Corporation was recently held at the fabrication workshop of Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries. The Equinox Class design balances hull form, power and speed with optimal operating performance and environmental efficiency.

The innovative new design of these Equinox Class vessels is a result of Algoma’s project team working for nearly two years in conjunction with Deltamarin, a leading vessel design firm. The Equinox Class of vessels will be considerably more efficient and will have a significantly reduced environmental footprint.

In total eight new Equinox Class vessels will join the fleet including two gearless bulkers to be owned by the Canadian Wheat Board and managed by Algoma on their behalf. The Equinox Class will include both self-unloaders and gearless bulk carriers based on a common hull design.

These new vessels will improve trading capacity by 15-20 per cent, while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and other environmental impacts. The Equinox Class vessels will contribute significantly to reduced air and water emissions primarily through a 45 per cent reduction in emissions per tonne-kilometre and through the installation of improved waste water treatment equipment. Fresh water, exhaust gas scrubbers will be installed on the new vessels. These scrubber units will remove 97 per cent of sulphur oxide emissions generated by the vessel’s main engines and auxiliary generators. These scrubber systems will also allow the use of low cost, heavy fuel oils while at the same time, meet the new Emission Control Area Sulphur Limits, established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and adopted by Canada and the United States for the Great Lakes and coastal waters.

The first of Algoma’s Equinox Class of state-of-the-art vessels is scheduled to enter the Algoma domestic fleet at the beginning of the 2013 navigation season.

World Maritime News Staff, July 27, 2012

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