Grimaldi Group has ordered five new ammonia-ready pure car & truck carrier (PCTC) vessels, with an option for another two units, with subsidiaries of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC). The shipping company placed a similar order for five such vessels just two months ago.

Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company Limited (SWS) and China Shipbuilding Trading Company Limited (CSTC), subsidiaries of CSSC will build the vessel. In total, Grimaldi has now invested over USD 630 million in these ammonia-ready vessels.

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New type of engine

With a length of 200 metres, a width of 38 metres and loading capacity of 9000 CEU (car equivalent unit), the new builds have been designed to transport electric and fossil fuel vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, etc.) as well as other types of heavy rolling freight (up to 250 tonnes).

They will be among the first ships equipped with a new type of electronic engine whose specific consumption is one of the lowest in its category. Thanks to their emission abatement systems, the new units will comply with the most stringent limits established at international level for CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.


In addition, the new ships will have the RINA (Italian Naval Register) Ammonia Ready class notation, which certifies that they may be converted for the use of ammonia as an alternative, zero-carbon fuel. They will also be designed for cold ironing with shoreside supply of electricity (where available), which constitutes a green alternative to the consumption of fossil fuels during port stays.

The vessels ordered represent an evolution of the 6700-CEU car carriers delivered to the Grimaldi Group between 2016 and 2018 (Grande Baltimora, Grande New York and Grande Halifax). In addition to the significant increase in capacity, thanks to design innovations and state-of-the-art engines and systems, their CO2 emissions per cargo unit transported index will be 27 per cent lower than that of previous generation of ships.

Upon delivery, expected between 2025 and 2026, the new vessels will enhance the Grimaldi Group’s services between Europe, North Africa, the Near and Far East.

Previous five-vessel order

The new order was signed just over two months after the Group’s latest order for the construction of five ammonia-ready PCTC vessels (with an option for another five units). This testifies to the company’s trust in the growth of the global automotive industry, and notably of the electric car segment.

Moreover, this agreement with Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company Limited and China Shipbuilding Trading Company Limited comes at a very important time for the Chinese maritime industry, in light of the recent entry of the China Shipowners’ Association (the national association representing owners, operators and managers of merchant ships) in the International Chamber of Shipping, the body that represents over eighty per cent of the world’s merchant tonnage.

Also read: China Shipowners’ Association joins International Chamber of Shipping