The World‘s First Ship Widening: Container Ship MSC Geneva Enters Service After Successful Widening
After a successful sea trial, the ship of German ship manager REEDEREI NSB on July 1st reentered liner service for MSC, sailing between China and South America. The MSC GENEVA is the first of altogether three NSB ships that has been converted under the WIDENING project. The conversion will enhance the competitive edge of panmax container freighters, increase their operational efficiency and improve their carbon footprint. This service is also offered to other ship owners and ship managers by NSB’s subsidiary NSB Marine Solutions, and the demand for future WIDENING projects has been rising.
As expected, the sea trial of the MSC GENEVA from June 19th to 21st went without a hitch, and the class certificates showing the new main dimensions were issued accordingly. On July 1st the MSC GENEVA re-entered service, called Chiwan and will then operate on liner service, sailing the Pacific Ocean between Asia and South America.
On June 18th NSB, its partners Huarun Dadong Shipyard (HRDD) and Technolog GmbH, and some 150 guests celebrated the world premiere of the first widened container freighter. On a tour of the widened ship in Shanghai guests could see for themselves the advantages the innovative concept, which was developed by REEDEREI NSB and realized in cooperation with the Hamburg-based engineering office Technolog GmbH, offers.
“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 of the ship.
“With this project NSB has solidified its excellent global reputation as a leading ship manager with a vision and pioneering spirit. It has successfully upgraded one of three of its hips through widening, managed to enhance the competitiveness of panmax vessels and improve the overall economic framework,” Jifeng Wu, Managing Director of HRDD shipyard, said in his speech at the festivities.
The developments in container ship building are extremely fast. Panmax 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. REEDEREI NSB’S innovative WIDENING concept is a pioneering one that makes older container freighters competitive by widening them.
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 WIDENING also improves the energy efficiency of the ship: carbon emissions per ton of cargo are significantly lower. The IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which will apply from 2025 onward, achieved by widened ships equals that of newbuildings.
WIDENING is another milestone in the comprehensive retrofitting portfolio, which, thanks to modern technologies, makes ships fit for the future. The offer, which is available to other ship owners and ship managers via NSB’s subsidiary, NSB Marine Solutions, ranges from efficiency-increasing measures such as the installation of optimized bulbous bows, propellers and turbocharger cut-outs all the way to computer-supported trimming assistants and performance monitoring tools.