November 14 - Construction of Auerbach Schiffahrt's new F-500 series vessels has begun at Chinese shipyard Jiangzhou Union.

Auerbach initially met with two shipping companies - Briese and Krey - in Leer in 2012 to give the go-ahead on the joint development of a new generation of project carriers.

The design of the new vessels is based on Auerbach's E and F series vessels, of which Maple Lea and Maple Lotta are examples.

In close collaboration with its project partners Auerbach decided to install state-of-the-art generation MAN G-Type two-stroke engines with an ultra-long stroke. This will result in the new ships consuming more than 25 percent less fuel per day at sea as compared with the existing fleet, said Auerbach.

Two Liebherr deck cranes, each with a lifting capacity of 250 tonnes, will also be installed on the new vessels. The newly developed computer-controlled cranes are being manufactured in Rostock, Germany.

When both cranes are used, the ships will be able to move cargoes of up to 500 tonnes. Another highlight of this new generation of multipurpose vessel, says Auerbach, is the almost 77 m long cargo hold.

When the first ships are delivered from 2016 onwards, Auerbach will be able to transport extra-long cargoes, such as offshore windmill blades, below deck.