New vessel largest-ever for Cosco

New vessel largest-ever for Cosco

The first super post-panamax vessel to be operated by a Chinese liner company will enter service Friday with the christening of the 7,500-TEU Cosco Long Beach at the Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

Cosco is operating the ship on behalf of the German company, E.R. Schiffahrt. At the end of July, the ship will be handed over to Cosco Container Lines, which will operate it under a 10-year fixed-term charter on the trans-Pacific.

The Long Beach is driven by the biggest main engine in the world, a 12-cylinder Sulzer Wartsila diesel, which provides a cruising speed of more than 25 knots. The Long Beach has a length of 984 feet, a width of 140 feet, a draft of 47 feet, capacity of 92,900 deadweight tons and space for 17 rows of containers to be stowed side by side on deck.

The Chinese carrier plans to take delivery of four identical sister ships, said Wei Jiafu, president and chief executive of the Cosco Group, in a statement. The company plans to charter even bigger ships, with capacity of 8,500 TEUs, from E.R. Schiffahrt beginning in 2006, also on trans-Pacific routes.

The owners of the Long Beach, the Hamburg-based Nordcapital Group and its shipping subsidiary, Schiffahrt, are also venturing into the super post-panamax class for the first time. According to current plans, 12 more container ships of this class will be added to the Schiffahrt fleet through 2006, making the super post-panamax class a major focus of the group's investment activities.