The Greenlandic ship owner Royal Arctic Line (RAL) has announced that it has signed a contract on 20 December 2019 for the purchase of a new container ship to serve the east coast of Greenland. It is one of the two B203 type vessels previously ordered and built at Remontowa Shipbuilding SA and subsequently not collected by the same ship owner.
The vessel currently purchased by RAL has a capacity of 108 TEU and is to be delivered in April 2020. It will sail primarily between Reykjavik and Tasiilaq in Greenland (434 inhabitants), significantly improving service to the East Coast of the world’s largest island, both in terms of frequency of calls and variety of connections to the world.
The planned new system of shipping connections, using, among others, Tukuma Arctica (an ice-ready tanker meeting the requirements of the FS Ice Class 1A Super and Polar Ice Class PC7, ordered in early 2017 with an expected transfer of capacity by the Chinese shipyard Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard Co Ltd, 26,000 t capacity, 2150 TEU capacity), will allow for weekly calls to Reykjavik, both north and south.
This combination forces a new East Coast vessel, previously built by Remontowa Shipbuilding, to be employed as a feeder container ship. In addition to providing a significant improvement in service on the East Coast, the addition of the 108 TEU vessel will allow it to be used as a back-up/additional solution for the West Coast.
In an official RAL announcement, the shipowner expressed his satisfaction that the planned and soon to be introduced shipping services system creates new opportunities and that with the addition of calls to several ports, the shipowner may start thinking about further new connections to improve the logistics in Greenland.
“The idea for this solution came directly from our operational staff, who were looking for solutions to better serve the East Coast”. – we read in the RAL announcement. “It is the employees’ desire to increase the level of service to the population that has led to the adoption of this solution, which we believe will benefit both the population, the business community and the construction industry on the East Coast. – added to the official RAL information.
The investment in the new container ship supports the earlier announcement of the search for a direct link to Iceland, with at least 50% more connections to Tasiilaq during the “open sea” period. (without ice). Currently there are 10 such calls in the year.
This rescheduling is intended to be more flexible with respect to Tasiilaq arrivals sooner or later, depending on what ice and weather allow. In addition, the rescheduling of calls and connections will mean that Tasiilaq will be directly connected to the global logistics network.
Thanks to the combined sea and air logistics solutions, Tasiilaq’s products, mainly fish and seafood, will be able to reach global restaurants and gourmet plates within 72 hours through Reykjavik.
The changes announced by RAL also mean that the shipowner will introduce another ship to the DIS (Denmark’s second register) and expand the fleet.
Rel (RAL), PBS
Arctic container ships / B203 type supply vessels – basic characteristics:
total length – 74.20 m
length between perpendiculars – 70,01 m
construction width – 15.20 m
Lateral height – to the main deck – 8,40 m
construction draught – 4.00 m
maximum draught – 6.00 m
operating speed – 12.5 knots
load capacity – 2890 t
container load capacity – 108 TEU
crew – 16 people
classification – DNV GL
notation class: +1A1, General Cargo/Container Carrier, PC6, E0, NAUT-AW, TMON, DG-P, BIS, CLEAN, BWM-T, DAT (-35°C), HULL – PC5