Italy’s Grimaldi Group has inked a contract for two more ro-ro vessels to be built in China.

The order, which was announced at the 25th Euromed Convention in Sorrento on Friday, adds to 12 vessels in the Eco-series that are close to being completed.

These vessels have been built at the CSC Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, where the latest ships are also expected to be constructed.

Price and delivery dates have not been revealed.

However, managing director Emanuele Grimaldi conceded that the latest newbuildings cost more than earlier vessels in the series.

He said the vessels have been ordered for the Euro-Med traffic, a regular multipurpose car carrier liner service linking European ports.

The orders come in a year when Grimaldi Group will see some seven of Eco-shortsea ro-ro vessels, with capacity for over 500 trailers per voyage, enter its fleet.

The 7,800-lane-metre ro-ro Eco Adriatica (built 2022), the eleventh in the series of 12 ships of the so-called- Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G), was delivered in August.

The vessels have a length of 238 metres, a beam of 34 metres and a service speed of 20.8 knots.

The loading capacity over seven decks – two of which are hoistable – is twice that of the previous class of shortsea ro-ro ships deployed by the Grimaldi Group.

Grimaldi also confirmed his company was close to ordering a series of 10 pure car/truck carriers of 9,000 ceu.

He said that the newbuilds to be delivered will enable a marked reduction in pollutant emissions, ranging from 50% to 70% compared to a fleet of conventional cargo ships.

Port investments

Grimaldi also unveiled investments in port terminals and logistics.

His company has acquired a 33% of Antwerp Euroterminal, where it has full control of the port facility.

Grimaldi Group has also acquired a 90% shareholding in Brucato De.T.A., a Sicilian intermodal transport company.

Further investments in terminals and logistics are planned in Northern Europe, Greece, Italy and Spain.

“In the last 12 months the companies belonging to our group have recorded their best ever performances,” said Grimaldi.

“This was achieved thanks to our intelligent investment policy, to a 500,000-tonne fuel reduction across the fleet, to R&D of new marine technology, and to the substantial boost we’ve given to terminal and logistical activities.”