CMA CGM Marco Polo is the largest container ship in the world, with a cargo capacity of 16,020 TEU. The vessel was delivered to its owner CMA CGM in September 2012. It was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s (DSME) shipyard in South Korea.
The 18,270 TEU container ship Maersk Triple E Class will replace Marco Polo’s largest container ship title upon delivery in 2013.
Marco Polo is one of the three ships ordered by CMA CGM in the 16,020 TEU series. The other two vessels are expected to be delivered in 2013. These three vessels were part of the eight 13,830 TEU ships ordered by CMA CGM in July 2007. The shipping company decided to increase the TEU capacity of the last three ships to 16,000 TEU in 2011.
CMA CGM Marco Polo began its maiden voyage on 7 November 2012 from Ningbo, China, joining the CMA CGM’s fleet on the French Asian Line 1 (FAL1) which connects North Europe, North Africa, Malta, Middle East Gulf and Asia. The ship will conclude its maiden voyage in January 2013, covering around 20,000 nautical miles in the journey.
The vessel meets the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) target of reducing Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The EEDI aims at promoting energy efficient equipment and engines for ships, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30% before 2025.
Construction details of the world’s largest container vessel
CMA CGM Marco Polo was constructed in parts. Each part, weighing around 2,000t, was lifted using floating cranes. The parts were assembled and welded in the dry dock.
Marco Polo measures 396m in length and 54m in width, and has a draft of 16m. The vessel accommodates 27 crew and is capable of sailing at a speed of 25.1kts.
Propulsion details of Marco Polo container ship
The vessel is configured with a Wartsila14RT-Flex96C low speed diesel engine which complies with the regulations laid in the Annexe VI of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention for cutting down air pollution from ships. Annexe VI came into force in May 2005.
The electronically controlled engine consumes 3% less fuel and 25% less lubricant oil on average.
The Triple-E class container ships are to be built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). They will be the largest container ships in the world, with a container carrying capacity of 18,000TEU.
The engine, weighing 2,300t, produces a maximum power output of 80,080kW at 102rpm and enables smokeless operation at all speeds. The engine measures 13.5m in length and 27.3m in width.
Environmental equipments integrated in Marco Polo
Besides the environment friendly propulsion engine, the vessel also features various pieces of equipment that enhance its environmentally friendly characteristics.
The efficiency of the engine is enhanced through an exhaust gas bypass system, which cuts down the consumption of fuel by 1.5% during low speed operation.
The ship’s twisted leading edge rudder, pre-swirl stator and hull were specially designed to improve the hydrodynamics, alignment of the water upstream and propulsion respectively. The pipes of the vessel were also specially designed to enable the vessel to use a low volume of sulphurs in European ports.
A ballast water treatment system using ultraviolet (UV) lamps has also been integrated into the ship to avoid harmful chemicals affecting the marine environment.
Other facilities include eco-containers, a cargo hold bildge water tank and multichamber waste compactors.