Tsuneishi Augments Proven Bulker Range


  • Tsuneishi Shipbuilding of Japan in partnership with Monohakobi Technology Institue has delivered its first upgraded post-Panamax type bulk carrier TESS999.
  • The vessel comprises of 98,000 deadweight with advanced operational efficiency making it the largest bulker in the series.
  • Incorporates MT-FAST device technology with AFT hull appendage and TOP-GR propeller for low-vibration and energy optimization.

Tsuneishi Shipbuilding of Japan is all set to deliver the first of an upgraded post-Panamax type from its Chinese subsidiary to build a long track in development and series production of standardized designs of bulk carrier.

Portfolio extension

Mr.David Tinsley writes that the 99,990dwt AGTR Ambition was launched in November 2018 from Tsuneishi’s Zhoushan yard in Zhejiang province, denotes the extension of the TESS (Tsuneishi economical standard ship) portfolio. Designated as the TESS999, it combines increased deadweight with an advance in operational efficiency relative to the preceding TESS98 bulker class, hitherto the largest model in the series.

TESS999 specs

With main dimensions of 240m length, 39m breadth and 20.05m depth, the TESS999 retain the length and air draught of the TESS98 so as to confer the same degree of trading versatility through port accessibility, while being one meter beamier so as to ensure that draught is not penalized by the increased load capacity. Although the increase in absolute deadweight from the TESS98 is about 2,000t, Tsuneishi states that the capacity gain is some 4,000t at equivalent draughts.

The TESS98 was developed in 2008 as a post-Panamax bulker, whose width was nearly 7m greater than the maximum for transit through the Panama Canal prior to the expansion of the waterway with new, larger locks. At the time, the post-Panamax bulkers were generally around 90,000dwt and 230-235m in length. The TESS98 offered the market new possibilities and versatility at 98,000dwt, on a length of 240m.

Analyzation on route and ship data

In developing the succeeding TESS999, Tsuneishi’s design team analyzed route and ship operating data for TESS98 bulkers, so as to further refine the concept, marrying this with a combination of energy-saving technologies and ensuring compliance with the latest environmental edicts.

MT-FAST device technology

It has kept faith with MAN two-stroke, low-speed propulsion technology, whereby the main engine specified for AGTR Ambition is a model from the electronically-controlled G-series. Furthermore, Tsuneishi has incorporated proven and proprietary hydrodynamically-efficient elements, in the shape of the MT-FAST AFT hull appendage and TOP-GR propeller. The cumulative effect of the engineering and design measures addressing energy savings is claimed to be in the order of 6% relative to the earlier TESS post-Panamax type.

The MT-FAST device consists of multiple fins attached to the hull immediately forward of the propeller. Developed by Tsuneishi in partnership with the Monohakobi Technology Institute, the arrangement adjusts the water flow to the propeller, recovering energy that would otherwise be lost in the rotational flow generated by the propeller. TOP-GR is also the outcome of an in-house initiative, resulting in a low-vibration, energy saving propeller with optimized blade number, diameter, aerofoil shape, and blade geometric distribution.

Increase in shares with diverse outputs

According to shipbroking and research group Clarksons, Tsuneishi accounts for the greatest share of 65,000-99,999dwt bulkers constructed worldwide from 2008 onwards. While the shipbuilder maintains a diversified output, including Kamsarmax bulkers and other types of tonnage, the TESS series is Tsuneishi’s most popular product line.

Towards continuous product refinement

Continual product refinement in the most populous categories of deepsea mercantile vessels is one of the enduring strengths of Japanese shipbuilding groups, providing design added value for owners and charterers at competitive newbuild cost. Tsuneishi’s Chinese production facilities, which complement its yards in Japan and the Philippines, give added edge to price competitiveness in the bulker category.

Since the introduction of the 40,000dwt TESS40 design in 1984, the programme has been continually expanded and includes TESS35, 38, 45, 52, 58 and 64 sizes as well as the 98 and new 999 offerings. AGTR Ambition is registered under Panamanian flag to the account of Agritrans Shipping Company.

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Source: The Motorship


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