With an innovative design study for a 13,000 TEU container ship, Germanischer Lloyd (GL) and the Korean yard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are showing just how big container carriers will be in the near future. The ship is 382 metres long and 54.2 metres wide, and has a draught of 13.5 m. The 6,230 containers below deck are stacked in 10 tiers and 19 rows, while the 7,210 deck containers are stowed in 21 rows. Powered by two 45,000 kW engines, the vessel's speed is 25.5 knots. The design study is characterized by two technical innovations: the cooperation partners decided on a twin drive configuration and the separation of deckhouse and engine room.
The question as to what propulsion powers and arrangements are needed to achieve the desired speed of 26 knots may be answered by diverse technical approaches: in the early phase of detailed calculations, not only the twin drive, but also the possibilities offered by one main engine, as well as one main engine with an additional pod drive, were considered. The cost estimate for the various drive configurations indicated that a twin propulsion system was only negligibly more costly than the variant with only one main engine. The aspect of improved safety is a major argument for the twin drive. In the event of an engine failure, the ship would remain manoeuvrable and could reach a safe harbour under its own steam. The main-engine and shaft sizes correspond to those of a 4,000 TEU carrier. Engines and propellers of this size are in widespread use, making the maintenance and procurement of spare parts both easy and cost-effective.
With a view to meeting the SOLAS requirements for bridge visibility on such a large ship, the design envisages the separation of deckhouse and engine room. The innovative arrangement of the deckhouse in the forward part of the ship permits an increase in container capacity and a reduction in ballast water. The international regulations on the protection of fuel tanks are also satisfied with this design, because they are located in the protected area below the deckhouse. Another welcome result of this innovation is reduced bending and increased stiffness of the hull.
Over a period of one and a half years, the cooperation partners GL and HHI performed calculations for all components of the ship. The study included the ship layout, number of containers and their stowage, design of fuel tanks, strength analyses, slamming calculations, propulsion plants, engine room design and vibration analyses. In addition to towing experiments, tank model tests were also carried out at Hyundai in respect of parametric rolling, with the support of GL. At the same time, programs developed by GL were used to examine the behaviour of the ship in a seaway, especially parametric rolling. Moreover, exhaust emission tests were conducted to determine the optimum position for the funnels. The shipyard is now ready to accept orders and estimates that construction time for such a ship is approximately 9 to 10 months.