Italy’s Grimaldi Group has exercised an option with China Merchants Heavy Industries Jiangsu for the construction of five more pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

Grimaldi reached an agreement with the Chinese company to build five new ammonia-based PCTC vessels, with an option for a further five carriers, last October.

With the latest contract, Grimaldi’s ammonia-ready car carrier order book stands at 15.

The shipping major worked with the naval design and architecture studio Knud E Hansen to develop the vessel concept.

Featuring a loading capacity of more than 9,000 car equivalent units (CEU), the PCTCs will be used for the transportation of both electric and fossil fuel vehicles.

Italian shipping register RINA granted the Ammonia Ready class notation to the vessels.

The vessels will feature mega lithium batteries, solar panels and shore connection capability (cold ironing) to serve as a green alternative to the consumption of fossil fuels during port stays.

Other modern technologies, including an air lubrication system, innovative propulsion and optimised hull design, will be deployed on the ships to lower their carbon footprint.

The new ships are expected to reduce fuel consumption by 50% compared to the earlier generation of car carrier vessels.

They will be used on voyages between Europe, North Africa, and the Near and Far East.

Grimaldi Group managing director Emanuele Grimaldi said: “With our recent orders for the construction of new PCTC vessels, we’ve strengthened our long-lasting and fruitful collaboration with China Merchant Industry Holdings.

“We’ve also reaffirmed our commitment to our customers, especially the world’s leading car manufacturers who continue to reward us with their trust.”

Grimaldi will take delivery of the ten vessels commissioned from China Merchants Heavy Industries Jiangsu between 2025 and 2027.