The first of the new Flexie series of car carriers building for the Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd (MOL) was delivered on Mar 15 and she incorporates a number of new features.
The Beluga Ace is the first of four of the 6,800 car capacity series on order at the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co, in Oita Pref, Japan.
The Beluga Ace, which is 199.9m long and has a breadth of 32.2m, has 14 decks and the number of liftable decks has been increased to six liftable decks, compared with two on conventional car carriers. This allows a greater range of adjustment in the liftable deck height enabling the ship to more effectively meet the demand for diversified vehicle and high and heavy cargo transport.
The hull design is a complete departure from current car carriers, boldly presenting ‘MOL’ and the letter ‘A’, representing a global brand of MOL ACE (MOL Auto Carrier Express).
The rounded bow shape has been designed to minimise wind resistance and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2 per cent compared to today’s car carriers.
The new shape is the result of joint research by MOL, MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc, Tokyo. It is one of the environmental impact-reducing technologies developed in the MOL Group’s Smart Ship Project.
MOL has also developed an upgraded version of its stowage planning system used in its car carriers.