Italian line receives first of 12 hybrid ro-ro vessels

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The Grimaldi Group, an Italian international logistics group, has taken delivery of the Eco Valencia, the first of 12 hybrid ro-ro ships belonging to its new Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) class, ordered from the Jinling shipyard in Nanjing, China. In addition to classifying the ship, RINA (Italian Naval Registry) assigned it the additional ‘Green Plus’ class notation, the top RINA certification in the field of environmental sustainability.

The GG5G class design was conceived by the Grimaldi Group technical and energy saving department in partnership with the Danish naval design studio Knud E Hansen. In addition to a hybrid propulsion system, the vessels have a number of features intended to reduce their environmental impact, including an air lubrication system, which will let the ship also obtain the prestigious ‘AIR-LUB’ notation certified by RINA; a waste heat recovery system; and silicone coating on the hull.

The hybrid power system allows for full electric operation when in port. During stays at berth, the ship is capable of meeting the energy demands of onboard activities with just the electricity stored in lithium batteries that are recharged during navigation thanks to shaft generators and 600m of solar panels.

With a length of 238m, a beam of 34m, a gross tonnage of 67,311 tons and a service speed of 20.8kts, the vessel is the largest short sea ro-ro vessel in the world and can transport 7,800 linear meters of rolling freight, equivalent to around 500 trailers. The loading capacity of its garages is twice that of the largest ships currently operated by the Grimaldi Group. However, it consumes the same amount of fuel at the same speed, meaning twice the efficiency measured in terms of consumption per ton transported.

Of the 12 GG5G class units, nine will be deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and another three will be operated by the Group subsidiary Finnlines in Northern Europe. In particular, the Eco Valencia will enter service between Italy and Spain, calling regularly at the ports of Livorno, Savona, Barcelona and Valencia.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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