By Will Van Dorp – On January 9, 2015, two Atlantic Container Line (ACL) RORO/ Containerships (CONRO) entered New York harbor, one within 30 minutes of the other. The first, Atlantic Concert, has done so several hundred times since entering service in the mid-1980s. Following Atlantic Concert into port was Atlantic Star, the first of ACL’s “generation4” or G4 CONRO vessels. A total of five G4 ships will be delivered by the Chinese Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (HZS), unlike all previous ACL vessels which were built in Europe.
HZS worked with naval architect Knud E. Hansen to create a completely new external design featuring a knife-edge bow, bridge and accommodations amidships, and portside mounted stack. But the differences in appearance and a slight increase in dimensions are only the start. Atlantic Star’s cargo capacity is listed as 764 trailers, 1,307 cars, and 3,800 containers, an increase that contributes to a 50% fuel consumption reduction per TEU. RORO capacity is one-third greater than in the G3s. Propulsion is provided by a single screw fixed pitch propeller directly driven by a slow speed Wärtsila 8RTflex68D, and maneuvered by a single high efficiency rudder, two bow thrusters, and a stern thruster.
Atlantic Star began her maiden voyage in Hamburg on December 9 and, as of this writing, is now in Norfolk.
More photos of these vessels can be found at tugster: a waterblog.