Grimaldi Group has placed a US$400m order with Chinas CSC Nanjing Jinling shipyard for six hybrid ro-ro vessels, thus consolidating Jinlings partnership with Neapolitan Group, a leading company in the ro-ro sector. Using fossil fuel during navigation and electricity while in port, the hybrid vessels will be equipped with mega lithium-ion batteries that are recharged during navigation with the aid of 600m2 (6,458ft2) of solar panels. Scheduled for delivery from 2020, the 238m-long (780ft) vessels known as Grimaldi Green Fifth Generation (GG5G) will have a gross tonnage of 64,000 tonnes and be able to transport more than 7,800 linear metres of rolling units, which is equivalent to 500 trailers. Their loading capacity will be double that of one of the largest ships currently operated by Neapolitan Group, and triple compared with the previous generation of ro-ro ships. At the same speed they will consume the same quantity of fuel, meaning a 100% increase in efficiency when measured in terms of consumption/ton of freight transported. Three of the ships will be operated by Grimaldi Lines in the Mediterranean. The others, which will be ice class, will be bought by sister company Finnlines and deployed in the Baltic Sea. The GG5G design was developed by the technical and energy-saving department of Grimaldi Group with Nordic engineering design house Knud E Hansen. It is the first time in the world that such powerful batteries, equivalent to those equipping 90 Tesla cars, will be installed on ships, said Grimaldi Group managing director Diego Pacella. “We are proud that these exceptional technologies on board will make the GG5G hybrid ro-ro the most innovative and efficient vessels in the world.
Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.