The second of United Arab Shipping Company’s six ordered 18,800 TEU capacity Ultra-Large Container Ships, the LNG-ready Al Muraykh, called APM Terminals Zeebrugge on its maiden voyage to Europe on the AEC1 (Asia/Europe Container Service 1) route.
These vessels utilize new advanced technology to reduce CO2 emissions per TEU by 60%, compared with 13,500 TEU capacity vessels delivered just three years ago, and are the largest vessels to be able to operate powered by either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or conventional heavy fuel oil.
The vessels are the first to have received DNV GL certification of compliance with the latest LNG regulations.
“United Arab Shipping Company is setting a new world standard in environmental performance for liner services, as well as fleet growth, and we are very proud to be a part of this historic process” said APM Terminals Zeebrugge Managing Director Carla Debart.
Currently the world’s 15th-largest shipping line, with a fleet of 56 vessels representing an overall capacity of 482,617 TEUs, UASC has embarked on an ambitious program of expansion which includes pending deliveries of 4 x 18,800 and 6 x 15,000 TEU-sized vessels, which will add approximately another 170,000 TEUs, increasing its fleet capacity by 35%.
APM Terminals Zeebrugge, which is one of a select group of European container terminals which can accommodate ULCS with containers stacked 10-high on deck and rows 24 containers-wide, handled 406,000 TEUs in 2014, in North Europe’s 7th-busiest container port.
As of September 1st, there were 31 vessels of 18,000 TEU capacity or above in service in the global container fleet, with 72 more awaiting delivery.