For the first time in its history, the Naples-based shipping group has chosen an Asian shipyard for ro-pax newbuilds, although it previously ordered ro-ros from China. The price is said to be around €230M for the two new vessels.
The newbuildings when delivered in 2023 will be operated by Finnlines. The new design of ice-class ferries represents an evolution of the Fincantieri-built Star Class units, which have 5,000 lane metres for trailers and 350 cabins for passengers.
To reduce emissions in port, the ro-pax ferries will have batteries installed. The battery pack will reportedly be the biggest mounted on a ship to date.
It is understood that shipyards on Grimaldi’s shortlist were Hyundai Mipo of South Korea, Jinling and Guangzhou Shipyard International of China. No European shipyard was considered competitive at all, price-wise.
The first of nine (6 + 3) GG5G [Grimaldi Green Fifth Generation] ro-ros ordered in 2018 by Grimaldi from Jingling Shipyard is due to arrive in Europe in March. They have 7,800 lane metres of capacity for rolling freight, equivalent to around 500 road trailers. The vessels will use electricity in port from their own bank of large lithium batteries. These batteries will be recharged during navigation, through shaft generators adding peak shaving and with the aid of 600 m2 of solar panels.