MSC Oscar was the biggest container ship in the world at the time of its delivery in January 2015. Credit: kees torn. / WikiCommons.
The ship was constructed at DSME’s shipyard in South Korea. Credit: kees torn / WikiCommons.
MSC Oscar can carry 1,800 refrigerated containers. Credit: OnkelKrischan / Shutterstock.

The MSC Oscar container ship with a capacity of 19,224 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) was recognised as the world’s biggest container ship, overtaking the record previously held by CSCL Globe (19,000TEU), at the time of its delivery in January 2015.

MSC Oscar is the first of six 19,224TEU Olympic series vessels in MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s fleet. MSC Oliver, the second vessel in the series, was delivered in March 2015 while the remaining ships were delivered by the end of 2015.

The ship completed its maiden voyage on the east-west trade routes between Asia and Europe in March 2015. The new vessel is a result of MSC’s plan to reduce CO₂ emissions on its trade routes by increasing the average vessel size, leading to the decrease in the overall number of ships in operation.

In February 2015, MSC agreed to apply Jotun’s patented SeaQuantum X200 Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) on the MSC Oscar, as well as 11 other existing and future vessels. This antifouling technology enables the vessels to lower fuel costs and associated carbon emissions.

Construction of MSC Oscar

The container vessel was constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) at its shipyard in Okpo, Geoje Island, South Korea, in just 11 months. It was named after Oscar, the son of MSC’s president and CEO Diego Aponte. The total investment to build the vessel was $140m.

MSC Oscar design and features

MSC Oscar has an overall length of 395.4m, making it one the world’s longest ships, breadth of 59m, height of 73m, draught of 16m, gross tonnage of 193,000t, and deadweight tonnage of 197,362t. It can accommodate 35 crew members.

The total container capacity of the vessel was initially intended to be 18,000TEU, but increased to the current capacity by adding an extra tier above the decks. The vessel can carry 1,800 refrigerated containers (1,470 on deck and 330 in hold).

The unique design incorporates a wide beam and use of torsion box and hatch coaming plates constructed using steel plates of thickness up to 100mm. The vessel incorporates a U-shape double hull structure and its bulbous bow increases the fuel efficiency.

MSC Oscar has been assigned the Route Specific Container Stowage (RSCS) class notation. The notation offers an efficient use of cargo space, providing flexibility of loading extra containers onboard on a specified route without compromising on the ship’s safety.

MSC Oscar propulsion

The vessel’s main engine is the fuel-efficient MAN B&W 11S90ME-C (10.2), which has a height of 15.5m, a length of 25m and a breadth of 11m. The engine has a maximum continuous rating (MCR) of 62,500kW at 82.2 rotations per minute (rpm) and a normal continuous rating (NCR) of 56,250kW at 79.4rpm.

The vessel’s full spade rudder is equipped with a rudder bulb and the propeller comprises five blades measuring 10.5m each. The propulsion system enables the vessel to sail at a service speed of 22.8kt.

MSC Oscar is equipped with Lukoil’s patented iCOlube cylinder-lubricating system. Lukoil also supplies its proprietary NAVIGO 100 MC alkaline marine cylinder lubricant for the vessel.