Posted on November 24, 2020
The first of a versatile trio of small, single-hold Eco Trader cargo ships with some unusual characteristics has joined the fleet of Hamburg-based Alster Ship Chartering, writes Tom Todd.
Elke K is small at 86.93m loa and 15.00m wide and is described as a modern, new-generation and environmentally friendly cargo carrier.
Built by Dutch shipyard Royal Bodewes, it is the first of three Type Eco Trader 5,150 DWAT bulk/breakbulk newbuilds for Bodewes new German customer Alster Ship Chartering.
The owner operates a listed fleet of ten coastal vessels carrying mainly bulk and breakbulk cargo. The ships are box-shaped single-deckers of 3,500-5,000tons, strengthened for heavy cargo.
Elke K is 84.98m bpp and has a maximum draft of 6.35m.
Of 2,999gt, it has a MaK 6M25C main engine of 1740kW/720rpm operating on MGO rather than HFO – which reports said was to allow more space for cargo. The engine provides about 12 knots via Siemens 350kW gearing and a nozzle mounted CPP Caterpillar propeller. Also on board are two unidentified 129kW/1500rpm Caterpillar generators and a 66kWe emergency engine. The rudder is from Benes, the steering gear from Rolls Royce and the 300kW bow thruster from Veth.
Of special note on the Dutch-flagged and BV-classified, Elke K is its generously sized 60 x12.40m single hold with a free height of 8.68 and total capacity of 221.000 cft. The hold is covered by ten pontoon type hatch covers from Coops & Nieborg operated by a gantry crane and is billed as particularly suitable for bulk and breakbulk cargo. There are two grain bulkheads.
Builders Bodewes also draw attention to what is described as the newbuild’s “distinctive” energy-saving bow. The stem is straight with an upper slope, which the yard says enables the ship “to slice easily through the waves facing less resistance”. Elke K’s double hull design is characterized by the bulbless straight bow, with an almost vertical stem profile. “Combining these ship features results in improved seagoing characteristics”, the yard says, as well as lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions.
The new German trio was described by officials as “an important step towards a green future” and as “part of a shared mission to reduce CO2 emissions and … commit to protecting and maintaining the marine environment”.