K Line back for more

K Line has increased its car carrier newbuilding tally to ten ships with orders for another pair of vessels.

The Japanese shipowner has opted for Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co for the latest orders which will be delivered in 2017.

In September and December last year, K Line ordered eight 7,500-unit capacity vessels for delivery from 2015 to 2016.

Those orders were split between domestic shipbuilders Japan Marine United Corporation and Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co.

“By adding these two new additional ships, our new next generation car carrier with better stability and increased fuel efficiency will expand to a total of ten,” K Line confirmed.

The series of car carrier newbuildings will be the widest such vessels built to date with a beam of 37 meters.

K Line has said previously that the length of the vessels is being kept at 200 meters to enable them to call at any port.

“We have spent a considerable length of time studying and investigating the most suitable next generation car carrier with shipyards,” Yoshiyuki Aoki, executive managing officer, of K Line’s car carrier sector said at the time of the first orders.

“We have appointed two shipyards and are adopting state of the art design in terms of fuel efficiency and flexibility on cargo handling that will be far better than our existing fleet.”

“The wider beam has come as a result of a series of simulation tests, exploring both better stability of the vessel and better fuel efficiency at the same time.”

Another technical point being addressed with these new ships is cargo loading equipment inside of the cargo hold and loading ramp in order to make them suitable for not only passenger cars but also other ro-ro cargoes.

As of the end of FY2014 K Line is expected to have a car carrier fleet of close to 100 vessels including newbuildings.