Mar 26, 2013– Zhoushan, China  (Techreleased) – Vessel-naming ceremonies for Shansi and Shantung, the first two of eight S31 Class multi-purpose vessels (MPVs), were greeted by fireworks and traditional lion dances at Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding’s Ouhua shipyard in Zhoushan, China.

S31 Class multi-purpose vessels
S31 Class multi-purpose vessels

The vessels will be delivered to the China Navigation Company (CNCo), the deep sea shipping arm of Swire Shipping, and CNCo’s Chairman Barnaby Swire thanked the yard, CNCo’s site team and Lloyd’s Register “for all their hard work and the excellent co-operation over the last two years which has brought us to this point today”.

The next-generation vessels were “designed to achieve extremely high efficiency for their type, ensuring the lowest fuel consumption per tonne mile possible through extensive research to deliver, hull, propeller and rudder optimisation, as well as low resistance paint systems and the selection of high efficiency hardware, equipment and machinery,” said Swire.

Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register’s Area General Manager for Greater China, said the LR team was very proud to be working with CNCo on their innovative newbuilds. Five years of design development ensured they met the “required standards of safety, environmental performance and energy efficiency across the whole operational envelope,” he added.

The ships’ names reflect CNCo’s 140-year history in the region – Shantung is named after a 3,000 dwt sugar carrier delivered in 1892 and Shansi after a vessel built for the beancake trade in 1898. All eight vessels will be deployed in CNCo’s parent company Swire Shipping’s multi-purpose liner trades linking North, East and South East Asia to key markets in Australia, New Zealand and the island nations of the South Pacific.

The same day, CNCo signed an order for four 22,000 dwt Chief Class MPVs for delivery in 2014-2015. The Chief Class, which represents another significant investment for Swire Shipping’s liner division, has been designed to meet the unique demands of the trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The contract includes options for another four vessels. The Chief Class design incorporates many of the features of the new S31 Class MPVs with the focus on cargo handling speed and fuel consumption efficiency. The vessels will feature hydraulic tween decks and hatch covers as well as 60 metre electric cranes that will provide a combined heavy lift capacity of up to 120 metres.