October 27 - Italian ro-ro shipping line Ignazio Messina is set to introduce one of the largest ro-ro vessels in the world, the 3,100 teu or 6,350 linear metre ro-ro containership Jolly Diamante, on its African services.

Genoa-based Ignazio Messina celebrated its 90th anniversary with a USD300 million investment in four new vessels for its Africa trade lanes, all of which will feature a stern quarter ramp of 317 tonnes capacity making them capable of loading awkward and project cargo up to seven metres high.

The company says that the four ships are the largest of their kind in the world and are being built at the South Korean Daewoo ShipyardJolly Diamante (pictured below) will be followed by Jolly Perla in early 2012.

Later vessels will be named Jolly Cristallo and Jolly Quarzo.

Designed in-house, the new vessels are technologically advanced and fitted with the state-of-the-art anti-pollution systems. With an overall length of 240 m and a 37.50 m breadth the ships can reach a 21.5 knot speed.

The new vessels are multipurpose and are highly flexible; in particular, with a draft of 11.50 m and 45,200 dwt, they will be able to operate in those ports in African countries where large containerships cannot be received due to draft limitations.

In the Nov/Dec edition of HLPFI, we have a focus on the state of the heavy lift and project cargo market in South Africa.