MOL goes BIG!

Aug 17, 2004
Author: P&S

Following the trend of ever larger ships, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has announced the launch of its new car carrier Utopia Ace, the first of 12 new carriers scheduled for delivery before March 2007.

Utopia Ace has similar design technologies used by her predecessor Courageous Ace – double-hulled fuel tank to reduce the chance of oil spills, plus a streamlined hull able to reduce the effect of wind.

Courageous Ace called in South Africa on her maiden voyage to Durban in July last year.

Utopia Ace will carry 6 400 motor vehicles and is 200m in length with a Panamax hull of 32.2m and a draft of 8.8m. Her gross tonnage is 60 200 tons and the ship has a fast operating speed of 20.65 knots.

With the current high cost of fuel, the ship will make use of spray oil injection, resulting in less lubricating oil being used in the main engine cylinders and reducing the ship’s emissions by 30 percent. Underwater the super slim hull design is claimed to reduce resistance by as much as 8 percent, while above water the ship’s aerodynamically rounded design reduces wind resistance – always an important factor on these high-in-the-water vessels. Ventilation covers on the top deck of the vessel feature patented rounded shapes with the same objective in mind.

Utopia Ace was built at the Kobe Shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.
And if you thought these ships are big, one of the rival car carrier operators is sending recently built vessels back to the shipyard to be lengthened, increasing their capacities to about 7 200 motor vehicles.

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