The contract signing ceremony took place at the China State Shipbuilding Corporation headquarters in Beijing (Image: MSC Group)
Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and China Shipbuilding Trading (CSTC) are to build four 2,5000-passenger cruise ferries for shipping and logistics operator MSC Group and Onorato Armatori, owner of a group of operating companies in the Mediterranean and Baltic.
MSC Group’s subsidiary GNV, which provides ferry services in Italy, will receive the first and third vessel in the order, while Onorato Armatori will receive the second and fourth. The first vessel will come into service in 2020. Both companies have the option to build an additional two vessels each.
The contract signing ceremony took place at the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) headquarters in Beijing, China. It was attended by Dong Qiang, chairman of CSSC; Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group; Achille Onorato, vice chairman and CEO of Onorato Armatori; Matteo Catani, CEO of GNV; Han Guangde, chairman of GSI; and Li Hongtao, general manager of CSTC.
The cruise ferries will be 229 metres in length, 32 metres wide and have 534 cabins to accommodate 2,500 passengers. In addition, the vessels will feature various environmentally friendly features including LNG-ready engines.
“With this signature we have taken another important step towards the creation of a ro-pax class of ships, something inconceivable until a short time ago, something that is avant-garde and projected towards the future,” said Onorato. “These two new vessels will not only be the biggest ro-pax ever built but will also have comfort and technology that will be difficult to copy and we are sure that they will represent the benchmark for the entire sector.”
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