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CONTAINER SHIPS: Maersk takes ‘New Panamax’ boxships

Denmark’s Maersk Line has placed the final two of eight 13,092TEU container ships it is chartering from Germany’s Rickmers Group, Maersk Evora (ex-Tauro Rickmers) and Maersk Essex (ex-Libra Rickmers), in service. With an overall length of 366m and a beam of 48.2m, these ships are not among the largest boxships being built today, but they have the flexibility of being able to transit the Panama Canal once the new locks are completed in 2014, thus they represent the ‘New Panamax’ class.

All eight vessels were built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and have a design draught of 14.5m (47.5ft) giving a deadweight of about 125,480 metric tons. Containers are carried 17 wide below deck and 19 wide on the hatchcovers, with the maximum capacity of each vessel being 7,074TEU on deck and 6,018TEU below deck.

Based on a homogeneous container weight of 14 tonnes per TEU, the maximum loaded capacity is around 9,080TEU. A service speed of 24.3 knots is delivered by a Hyundai-Wärtsilä 12RT-flex96C main engine developing 68,640kW, but the ships can also achieve 21.5 knots at 60 per cent of normal output as well as ‘slow steam’, depending upon requirements. All are currently employed on Maersk’s AE2 service between Asia and Europe. JS

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