China's WuHu Shipyard has cut the first steel for an Orca series heavy lift vessel being built for an alliance between SAL Heavy Lift GmbH and Jumbo Shipping.
Back in September 2022, SAL and Jumbo said they had signed building contracts for four firms plus two optional new-generation heavy lift ships with Wuhu Shipyard.
"After a long and extensive planning phase, our Orca newbuilding series has finally kicked off! On 22 February, the ceremonial first steel cutting was conducted at WuHu Shipyard in Wuhu, China," the Dutch heavy lifting and transportation firm Jumbo said Tuesday.
The shipyard started the construction for ‘W2231’, which is the shipyard’s project name for the duo's first Orca newbuilding. The expected delivery date of the first vessel is July 5, 2024.
"Already this week, the steel cutting for the second Orca newbuilding with the project name W2232, will be carried out on the shipyard. We are excited about the keel laying following in near future," Jumbo said Tuesday.
The two companies said in September 2022 that the first two ships would, from mid-2024 be exclusively involved in the transportation of offshore wind turbine components in a long-term commitment with the wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
Two additional sister vessels will enter the premium heavy-lift shipping market to serve the clients of the Jumbo- SAL-Alliance in the first half of 2025.
The vessels will be 149.9 meters long and 27.2 meters wide and provide a capacity of 14,600 dwt.