In advance of the launch next year of the first of AAL Shipping's (AAL) mega size 32,000 deadweight (DWT) Super B-Class heavy lift vessels, the ‘AAL LIMASSOL’, the global carrier has released a short film highlighting the design and technical innovations and specifications that will make this highly anticipated, third generation MPV fleet the most advanced in the multipurpose cargo sector.

The Super B-Class design was a collaboration between AAL’s engineering and commercial teams and sister company, Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM). These vessels were designed to be the most efficient and competent MPVs in the water and harness all of our engineering team’s expertise in handling heavy lift, breakbulk, and dry bulk cargo since 1995.

Each Super B-Class vessel can safely accommodate over 42,000 CBM of cargo, big and small, on a single sailing. The significant clear weather deck space of 146 x 26 metres will feature a unique, retractable deck extension system – the ‘AAL ECO-DECK’, designed by AAL’s engineering team – that can increase stowage space even further.

With the bridge and accommodation block positioned forward, crews will have unobscured sailing visibility and no physical restriction on cargo height. The vessels can also sail with open hatch covers, enabling extremely tall and over-dimensional units to be stowed safely in hold space. And, despite significant cargo intake volume and its 180 metre length, the hull design of the Super B-Class will deliver a 6.5 metre minimum draft, allowing AAL to call far smaller and more remote ports – perfect for employment on dedicated, large projects.

Three heavy lift cranes positioned along the vessels’ port side will feature 350t lift each and combinable up to 700t max. Tandem lifting can be done with both cranes number 1 and 2, and also number 2 and 3. This enables cargo loading at both the fore and aft of the vessel – optimising deck space and capacity. The cranes also feature an outreach of 35.7 metres at higher lifting capacity and render far more flexibility and options when loading large and / or heavy units.

Under deck there will be two box-shaped cargo holds, one 68 x 25 metres, and the other 38 x 25 metres and with a height of 15.6 metres. They also feature adjustable pontoon triple deck capabilities as required, to optimise cargo intake. With no centre line bulkhead, the holds are designed to perfectly accommodate dry bulk commodities and optimised for stowage of dangerous IMO cargoes.

Overall, the Super B-Class will meet the highest possible automation and emission standards, as well as complying with IMO regulations on emissions and sustainability for environmental protection. The vessels are dual-fuel and methanol ready and run on MAN main engines of 7,380 kW – supported by two 1,700 kW and one 1,065 kW auxiliary diesel generators. They are NOx Tier III compatible with HPSCR, EEDI phase 3 compliancy, featuring a projected service speed of 14.5 knots. They will also feature modern ballast water treatment systems and innovative hull coating that delivers greater fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.

Five of the Super B-Class will be named after major breakbulk ports: AAL Antwerp, AAL Hamburg, AAL Houston, AAL Dubai and AAL Dammam. The sixth vessel (and first of the new fleet to be launched in 2024) will proudly bear the name AAL Limassol, in tribute to the town where AAL’s story first began in 1995.