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Container Shipping & Trade

Container Shipping & Trade

Why MOL’s latest ULCS is a Triumph in design

Wed 06 Sep 2017 by Rebecca Moore

Why MOL’s latest ULCS is a Triumph in design
MOL Triumph shares the same overall dimensions as a standard 18,000 TEU ship, despite having capacity for 20,170 TEU

MOL Triumph is one of the largest box hips ever built but it has much more to boast about than that. Andrew McAlpine went on board the vessel to find out more

When MOL Triumph, was named on 15 March this year, during a ceremony held at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) Shipyard, it became the first in a series of four 20,000 TEU container ships for Japanese line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). It has since been deployed on The Alliance FE2 service and calls at Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Tangier Med, Southampton, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Le Havre.

Its building contract, announced in March 2015, had followed a flurry of new box ship orders from the world’s top container lines and the industry was rife with speculation about a major order from MOL. Its president Koti Muto had announced during a New Year message that the line had already taken steps to begin operating a 20,000 TEU ship and, less than three months later, the company revealed its deal for four of them – the largest ever ordered at that time. It also signed an MOU for a long-term charter for two more with Shoei Kisen Kaisha. These additional two vessels will be built in Japan by Imabari Shipbuilding.

According to SHI, when the ship was delivered MOL hailed its performance for zero-incident construction during the 15 months since steel cutting began in January 2016.

Efficient container loading

MOL Triumph’s precise capacity is 20,170 TEU, yet it shares the same overall dimensions as a standard 18,000 TEU ship. It has an overall length of 400 m, which – when space for the accommodation, funnel casing and lashing bridges is taken into account – allows for 24 x 40 ft container bays, which are divided into eight bays forward of the bridge, 11 bays between accommodation and funnel and five aft of the funnel. It is 58.8 m wide, allowing 23 rows of containers to be loaded across the deck.

A maximum of nine tiers can be loaded forward of the bridge, with 11 tiers possible on all bays behind the bridge due to the installation of four high lashing gantries. All lashing gantries and container securing equipment are supplied by German Lashing. Below deck, its depth of 32.8 m makes MOL Triumph the first ultra large container ship (ULCS) able to load 12 tiers of containers below deck.

In line with MOL’s Eco-Sailing Initiative MOL Triumph has been designed to be more fuel efficient and has been equipped with an array of highly advanced energy-saving technology developed by SHI (see box)

Main propulsion is provided by an electronically controlled MAN Diesel & Turbo 12-cylinder G95ME-C9.2-TII engine, which has a maximum power output of 81,310 kW. This engine is the largest and most powerful engine from that MAN Diesel & Turbo has designed and built and was manufactured under license by Doosan Engine in South Korea.

It has been specified to give MOL the option of converting the ship to LNG fuel in the future and, ahead of its delivery in April, MOL announced that DNV GL had issued an Approval In Principle for the design of an LNG-powered 20,000 TEU container ship.

It drives a single 10 m five-bladed fixed pitch propeller giving a maximum speed of 24 kts. To assist with manoeuvring in port, two tunnel thrusters with controllable pitch propellers are installed in the bow with a maximum output of 2,500 kW each.

During construction, MOL and SHI developed a basic plan to evaluate the ship’s performance when in service and jointly carry out a hazard identification study to check its compliance with IMO’s new regulations which seek to limit SOx emission from marine fuels and which will come into effect in 2020. MOL has carried out a feasibility study into retrofitting an SOx scrubber and its funnel has been designed to allow that to be easily done.

Fire originating from a container is a serious risk facing modern container ships – the most recent indecent was in April, on board MSC Daniella, showed how quickly a fire can can get out of control – and MOL has clearly taken this risk into account. MOL Triumph is unique in that it has two fixed water monitors supplied by Task Force Tips installed for on-deck container firefighting. One unit is fitted to a specially-built platform installed on the port side of the funnel and the second is on the top of the bridge island facing forward. The monitors each have a 360° movement with a maximum operating pressure of 28 bar.

MOL Triumph’s energy-saving features

Samsung Heavy Industries has included some energy-saving features into MOL Triumph, which MOL said is designed to achieve more efficient fuel consumption and an improved eco-environment balance. Their combined effect can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per container moved by about 25-30%, compared to 14,000 TEU class container ships.


Optimised hull form: The design of the bow and stern has been refined to reduce water resistance. Together with a redesigned bow shape designed for slower steaming, this is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 4.5%

Low -friction hull paint: This is intended to reduce drag and reduce fuel consumption by slowing fouling growth and preventing it from staying on the hull

High efficiency propeller: With optimised blade tips to increase efficiency by approximately 1%

Full spade twisted rudder and rudder bulb: The twisted leading edge and the bulb placed in front of the rudder recover vortex energy from the propeller’s slipstream

SAVER Stator: Specially developed by SHI, these fins located ahead of the propeller are designed to improve the flow of water coming into the propeller by generating a reverse-direction circular flow. MOL Triumph is the first vessel to have this installed and SHI is measuring its effectiveness to extend the usage of SAVER Stator


Principal particulars

MOL Triumph

Length   399.8 m

Beam     58.8 m

Draught               16 m

Gross register     210,678 gt

Main engine       MAN B&W G95ME-C9.2-TII

Bow thrusters     2 x 2,500 kW

Container Capacity          20,170 TEU

Reefer Capacity 1,500

Flag state            Marshall Islands

IMO No 9769271

Classification Society      Lloyd’s Register

Builder  Samsung Heavy Industries, South Korea

Hull No 2167

Delivered             15 March 2017


Main suppliers

Ade Valve

Boll & Kirch Filterbau

Doosan Engine


German Lashing

Hi Air Korea

Hisaka Works











Task Force Tips

Tokyo Keiki


Ushio Reinetso Co


Yone Corporation



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