Two decades since Damen Shipyards’ Combi Freighter 3850 class of shortsea cargo vessel made its debut, the design has been given a new lease of life and put into batch production, writes David Tinsley. Damen is now offering ‘off-the-shelf’ availability of the 3,800dwt multipurpose carriers within delivery timeframes of 12 months or less of contract signing.
Damen Yichang Shipyard has completed construction of two of the 89m box-hold single-deckers to the revamped design. Both were ready for delivery in early February, and the sale of the first was being finalised. Slots have been allocated at Yichang for the third and fourth vessels, with completions expected in October or November this year.
Improvements include a lower-resistance aft hull form, IMO Tier III NOx emission compatibility and adoption of ballast water treatment plant. Battery packs will be an option. As a result of optimising the aftship hull lines and consequentially reduced resistance, a lower-power propulsion engine can be installed, running on MGO as opposed to HFO, and/or with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology.
In the case of the new series from China, the main engine is a six-cylinder, medium-speed ABC diesel. The four-stroke 6DZC has an output of 1,104kW at 800rpm, driving a 2.6m fixed-pitch propeller via a reverse/reduction gearbox.The power saving is apparent compared to vessels of the type completed seven to eight years ago, in which the main engine was an MaK 8M20C, rated 1,520kW at 1,000rpm.
Dutch firm Alewijnse Marine is undertaking the electrical fit-out of the newbuilds at Damen Yichang. The scope of the contract is based around the design, build and delivery of the main and emergency switchboards that form the core of the vessels’ electrical systems, including alarm monitoring, fire alarms and onboard communications.
Accounting for approximately 63m of the 90m hull length, the single hold will store bulk commodities, forestry goods, steel and other products, and longer, heavier and indivisible items of freight. Electrically driven ventilation safeguards the condition of the cargo. The hold is equipped to take tweendeck panels at half-height, and cargo compartmentalisation is achievable using two portable grain bulkheads offering multiple stow positions. In addition, container fittings and lashing eyes provide for weatherdeck-borne cargo.