Japanese firm NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers (NBP) has signed an agreement with China-based Nanjing Jinling Shipyard for the construction of heavy-lift vessels.

As part of the deal, NBP will build two next-generation energy-efficient vessels that will be suitable to meet a wide range of cargo transportation needs.

Nanjing Jinling Shipyard is part of China Merchants Group.

With a deadweight of 12,470t, each ship will have a length of 138m and a breadth of 23.6m.

The depth of the vessel will be 8.30m. Each vessel will be equipped with two 400t cranes.

NBP said in a statement: “The heavy cargo ship market has been sluggish since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, but due to the recent increase in environmental awareness, the cargo movements of wind-power plants and LNG plants have become active, and these ships are expected to meet market needs.

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“We will maintain and accumulate the technical know-how of heavy-lift vessels by owning and operating these vessels, and as the only heavy shipping company in Japan, we will respond to the needs of plant cargo customers.”

Each vessel will feature one hatch and one hold with open-hatch type shape to facilitate easy cargo handling, as well as reduce cargo damage.

With an on-deck length of 110m, NBP’s new vessel can accommodate cargo with a 95m length, including wind-power blades that can be loaded on the deck or placed in the hold.

Additionally, the vessel will feature an adjustable or removable type tween deck, which can be altered based on the cargo loaded.

In order to accommodate bulk cargo, the tween deck can be converted or used as a simple bulkhead standing in the hold.

A subsidiary of Japan’s shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha, NBP claims that it has developed a technology by collaborating with Japanese marine equipment manufacturers to achieve a reduction in fuel consumption.