Japanese transportation company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has reached agreements with shipbuilding firms for the construction of four next-generation car carrier vessels.
K Line has signed deals with two shipbuilders – Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co and Japan Marine – with each company appointed to build two vessels.
According to K Line, the new vessels will be the widest beam ever built, at around 37-38m, achieved after a series of simulation tests simultaneously exploring both stability and fuel efficiency.
With a capacity of 7,500 units, each vessel will be 200m in length, and will have the ability to call at any port.
K Line car carrier sector executive managing officer Yoshiyuki Aoki said that the company has spent considerable time studying and investigating the most suitable next-generation car carrier with shipyards.
"We have appointed two shipyards and are adopting state-of-the-art design in terms of top notch fuel efficiency and flexibility on cargo handling that will be far better than our existing fleet", Aoki said.
The new vessels will feature ‘CAUL’ to help mitigate wind pressure for optimum fuel consumption and will have cargo loading equipment inside the cargo hold and loading ramp.
The four new ships, which will replace the company’s existing tonnage, will not only cater to passenger cars but also other Ro/Ro cargoes.
"It is our estimation that the car transport market and RORO cargo market will steadily grow, so we will continue to develop our fleet to deliver value added efficiency and capability of handling an even wider variety of cargo mix to assure our services successfully meet the needs of our valued customers," Aoki said.
The new ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.