Chipolbrok's Taixing is world's biggest heavy-lifter
Like a number of heavy lift and project cargo specialists, last year multipurpose operator Chipolbrok (Chinese-Polish Joint Stock Shipping Company) saw an opportunity to diversify into container shipping as that sector struggled to find tonnage to meet a burgeoning market. But while the Shanghai-based company has said it will continue to keep its options open for the future, perhaps the bigger splash was made by the delivery last December of what is claimed to be the world’s largest multipurpose heavy lift vessel.
Built by Chengxi Shipyard, the 62,000dwt Taixing is the first in a of four new vessels for Chipolbrok. The second vessel in the series, Herbert, was delivered in February 2022 with two further sister ships, Pilecki, and Yong Xing, due to follow later in the year. The fleet are intended for carriage of solid bulk cargoes, IMSBC code cargoes, steel coil, package/general/project cargoes, paper pulp, container and long piece cargoes. They are expected to serve on the Asia-America trade routes where there is heavy demand for oversized project cargo such as wind turbines.
Measuring 199.9m in length, with a 32.26m beam and vertical bow form, the vessel was designed by the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and has been built with a single continuous deck with forecastle and poop. All accommodation including navigation bridge and propulsion machinery is located aft.
In total, Taixing has five holds double-bottomed and double-skinned, the 40m longest of which is specifically intended for project cargoes. Four of the holds are box shaped and all have strengthened tank tops for heavy cargoes. The ship has pontoon type tween decks that can be employed in all five holds. Total bale capacity is 73,000m3. The flush hatch covers allow for a length of 160m and some 5,000m2 of space for deck cargoes.
Cargo handling is facilitated by four MacGregor deck cranes with a 38m outreach, and the two 150-tonne capacity cranes located either end of Hatch 3 can work in tandem to lift 300 tonnes. The other two cranes have safe working loads of 45 and 60 tonnes.
The ship’s power and propulsion system comprises a six-cylinder MAN B&W G50ME-C9.6 engine producing 8,000kw@83 rpm. This drives a 6.9m diameter fixed pitch propeller to give a service speed of 14.5kt. To achieve Tier III NOx compliance, the engine makes use of high pressure selective catalytic reduction. A Blue Ocean Shield ballast treatment system allows for worldwide operation, having type approval from IMO and USCG.
Full data for Taixing and more than 40 other vessels can be found in RINA’s Significant Ships of 2021. For further details please visit: www.rina.org.uk/sigships.html