March 21 - The China Navigation Company Pte Ltd (CNCo), the deep sea shipping arm of the Swire group, has ordered four 22,000 dwt multipurpose vessels from Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co Ltd (Ouhua), Zhoushan, China.


The vessels are to be delivered in 2015 and the contract includes options for an additional 2+2 vessels in continuation. The order follows the previous order for eight 31,000 dwt S31 Class multipurpose vessels due to commence delivery in late March this year - see new building profile in the March/April issue of HLPFI.

Swire Shipping says that the ships in the latest order, known as 'Chief Class', represent another significant investment in its liner division, and all have been specifically designed to meet the unique demands of the trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

CNCo vessels first started calling Papua New Guinea in 1939, although the liner service, New Guinea Australia Line, was not formally established until 1952.

Working closely with Neptun China Ship Design, the Chief Class design also incorporates many of the features of the new S31 Class vessels where the focus has been on cargo handling speed and fuel consumption efficiency.

The vessels will feature hydraulic tweendecks and hatchcovers as well as 60-tonne lift capacity electric cranes, which will provide a combined heavy lift capacity of up to 120 tonnes.

In addition to meeting the general cargo requirements of the trade, the ships have been designed to offer maximum versatility to carry a wide range of cargo types including breakbulk, overdimensional and heavylift project cargoes.

"We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Ouhua and we are confident that they are the best partners for this exciting project based on their experience building multipurpose vessels for several respected international owners" said Tim Blackburn, managing director of The China Navigation Company.


The board of directors of The China Navigation Company with senior representatives from Ouhua Shipbuilding, Neptun China Ship Design, Lloyd's Register and Wärtsilä.