Plans drawn for 12,500 teu mega-ship
Classification society Bureau Veritas expects demand for container slots to double over the next decade, leaving the present post-Panamax vessels too small to meet demand.
Working with Knud E Hansen, the society has developed a 12,500 teu (20 ft equivalent unit) ship design which it says will provide economies of scale and use innovative technology to providing more capacity.
'There are nearly 15 major terminals which could accommodate this size of vessel,' says Matthieu de-Tugny, product manager for dry bulk and containers for Bureau Veritas.
'There are several feasible technical solutions to developing such ships, which represent new designs, not simply extensions of current thinking.
'At capacities over 10,000 teu, conventional designs cannot be maintained. It is a challenge for the whole shipping industry.
'As a class society, we try to ensure safety by assessing and solving any potential difficulties in advance.'
The society's mega-ships would have a draft of 14.5 metres and moulded breadth of 54.2 metres, carrying 12,523 teu on 152,000 deadweight tonnes.
The engine room and casings are positioned one-quarter length from aft, with the deckhouse forward of amidships, giving higher rigidity, shorter shaft lines and better visibility from the bridge.
Among several cross-section alternatives considered to optimise the container arrangement and hull strength, a compromise of narrow-skin, double-hull design and deep deck beam structure would provide the best longitudinal guarantees.
Steel thicknesses in the amidships region are higher than those in use in present vessels.
Power requirements would be 94,000 kiloWatts at 25 knots.
Mr de-Tugny says traditional single-screw, diesel engines would not be suitable, but the design allows for twin 47,000 kW diesels.