Originally presented at the Nor-Shipping trade fair in Oslo in 2015, the SkyBench is an innovative design to increase the cargo capacity of large container vessels. The bridge and upper three decks of a “twin island” design container operate as a separate sliding block, mounted on rails and able to move over the length of two 40ft container bays. In combination with a resizing and relocation of fuel tanks and the utilization of the void spaces beneath the accommodation block in a traditional design, this allows the addition of two extra 20ft container bays.
Im Hong-il, Senior Engineer and Team Leader of the Basic Hull Design Department of HHI’s Shipbuilding Division, said: “It has been a great pleasure for us to have the opportunity to work with DNV GL for the successful completion of this project for the past two years. We would also like to extend our appreciation for their two consecutive approvals of the SkyBench and their statement of witness for the 1:2 scale SkyBench mock-up test.”
“This was an extremely interesting and exciting project and we are very pleased that HHI selected us to work with them to realize this concept,” said Ian Edwards, DNV GL’s Head of Approval Centre Korea. “The SkyBench shows how the industry’s increased focus on efficiency and maximising transport capacity has really sparked innovation in design and operation. Additionally, the potential of this design to offset reduced cargo capacity when choosing LNG as ship fuel means that HHI can offer a design tailored to meet stricter sulphur emission limits in the future,” added Edwards.
The SkyBench mechanism takes ten minutes to operate at port, using four electric drive train units to move the block backwards from its normal position. The two 40ft side casings on which the accommodation block rests provide structural strength and hold lifeboats, provision cranes and utility rooms. In an emergency, the sliding block is detachable and is designed to float independently of the vessel.