AAL Shipping (AAL) has added an additional two ships to its order of six 32,000 deadweight (DWT) heavy lift Super B-Class vessels.

The order was signed by AAL and Schoeller Holdings’ Founder & Chairman, Heinrich Schoeller, at the recent naming ceremony of m/v ‘AAL LIMASSOL’ at the CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

The two additional vessels, to be named the m/v ‘AAL NEWCASTLE’ and ‘AAL MUMBAI’ will each feature an increased maximum heavy lift capability of 800 tonnes, compared to the rest of the Super B-Class fleet which can each lift a maximum 700 tonnes.

These vessels will bring AAL’s total fleet tonnage to 831,800 DWT.

Announced at a press conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on Tuesday 21st May 2024, AAL harnessed market interest in the additional ship order to also launch a global fundraising drive, ‘The AAL Back to the Future Appeal’, for the benefit of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

• AAL’S Super B-Class fleet grows to eight vessels & 256,000 DWT

Kyriacos Panayides, CEO of AAL, commented, “AAL’s new order of an additional two Super B-Class powerhouses brings our newbuilding fleet up to eight vessels and 256,000 DWT. This is a strategic move to strengthen our global industrial projects foothold and boost our capacity and service levels on major shipping lanes connecting Oceania, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.

“A huge investment of this kind for our third-generation newbuilding plan is not something we take lightly, as it was made with our project customer cargo needs on top of mind and combining 30 years of experience in this challenging and demanding industry we serve – a true leap into the future. We are incredibly proud of all the work that has gone into the innovative design and development of this fleet.”

• ‘AAL LIMASSOL’ breaks AAL’S cargo bookings record on its maiden voyage

Christophe Grammare, Managing Director of AAL, explained, “The maiden voyage of the first of AAL’s Super B-Class fleet, the ‘AAL LIMASSOL’, has already broken all voyage performance records for AAL, with over 77,000 freight tonnes of cargo booked onto her planned journey from Asia to Europe. A broad mix of project heavy lift and general cargo includes two 135-metre-long barges - 1,650 and 1,425 tonnes respectively - fifteen 80.5-metre-long wind blades, modules, trucks, transformers, a dismantled crane and much more besides. This demonstrates the objective of achieving greater economies of scale for our shippers as compared to most other MPVs.”

He added, “Looking into the future, the trend in industrial project cargo is towards fabricating larger and more complex components, and we need to be ahead of that curve. The combination of these new ships’ unique design, cargo handling technologies and heavy lift capabilities – which on the two additional vessels has increased to 800 tonnes maximum lift – allows them to also accommodate the far bigger and heavier cargoes of tomorrow, ones that until now may have been out of our reach.”