The Grimaldi Group fleet expands further with the arrival of the new Pure Car & Truck Carrier (PCTC) Grande Houston. On 15 January the Grimaldi Group took delivery of the third of the seven ships commissioned to the Chinese shipyard Yangfan, located in Zhoushan. Just like her sisterships Grande Torino and Grande Mirafiori, already operational since 2019, the Grande Houston will be deployed on the weekly Mediterranean-North America service.
The Grande Houston has a length of 199.90 meters, a beam of 36.45 meters, a gross tonnage of 65,255 tonnes and a service speed of 19 knots. The ship flies the Italian flag and is among the largest Pure Car & Truck Carriers on the market: in fact, she can transport around 7,600 CEU (Car Equivalent Units) or alternatively 5,400 linear meters of rolling stock and 2,737 CEU. It is an extremely flexible ship: with her four hoistable decks, the Grande Houston is able to load any type of rolling freight (trucks, tractors, busses, excavators, etc.) up to 5.3 meters high.
Moreover, the vessel is fitted with a side ramp and a quarter stern ramp, the latter allowing the loading of freight units with a weight of up to 150 tonnes. Thanks to the configuration of the various decks and to the system of internal ramps, the risk of damages during the loading or unloading of rolling units is minimized.
State-of-the-art systems and devices allow the Grande Houston to achieve high energy efficiency and to reduce harmful emissions. The ship is, in fact, fitted with an electronically-controlled (Man Energy Solutions) main engine, allowing her to meet the new regulations for the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), as well as with an exhaust gas cleaning system for the abatement of sulphur oxide emissions (SOx). Moreover, she complies with the latest regulations regarding the treatment of ballast water.
"The delivery of the Grande Houston represents a further step forward in the direction of an ever younger, efficient and eco-sustainable Grimaldi fleet", said Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. "Through our commitment and our investments we continue to pursue service excellence, while always paying attention to environmental issues".
The Grande Houston will enter service in March 2019 and will further enhance the weekly ro-ro connection operated by the Grimaldi Group between the Mediterranean and North America (Canada, United States and Mexico). The ship bears the name of one of the main ports of the Med/North America service: thanks to its strategic position close to the main industrial areas of the United States, as well as the relevance of the Oil&Gas sector, the Port of Houston is in fact a fundamental gateway for traffic coming from and heading to North America.
Along with the already operating Grande Mirafiori, Grande Torino, Grande Halifax, Grande Baltimora and Grande New York, the Grande Houston will regularly call at 14 ports in Italy (Gioia Tauro, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Savona), Spain (Valencia), Belgium (Antwerp), Canada (Halifax), United States (Davisville, New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Houston), and Mexico (Tuxpan, Veracruz).