JEDDAH — Italian Shipping Company Ignazio Messina & C, famous in Saudi Arabia for its 75-year liner services from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and Jeddah Islamic Port, ordered four new ro-ro container vessels from the Korean shipyard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. investing more than $300 million.
The agreement was signed recently in Genoa by Chairman of Ignazio Messina & C Paolo Messina and President and CEO of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. S. H. Shin who agreed to finalize and deliver the four units between June and December 2014.
The new ro-ro container vessels, entirely designed in-house by the technicians of the Genoese Messina Group, will be characterized by a 45,000 tons deadweight, 240 meters overall length, 37.5 meters beam, 11.5 meters maximum summer draft and will be able to transport 2.900 containers at a speed of 21.5 knots. Messina Group’s new order represents the second step of a modernization strategy started in 2009 with another $300 million commission to South Korean Shipbuilding Company Daewoo for the construction of four twin units named Jolly Diamante 2011, Jolly Perla 2012, Jolly Cristallo 2012 and Jolly Quarzo 2013.
Jolly Diamante, already operating with Jolly Perla from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, East Africa and South Africa, arrived for the first time in Jeddah last January to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first Messina liner service to Jeddah Islamic Port and the 90th anniversary of the Italian shipping company managed by the family since 1921.
Today, the company represents the second world largest ro-ro container carrier and a leading operator in the shipping industry that was also untrusted by Saudi Arabia with the transportation of 22 metro convoys (built by Italian Finmeccanica companies Ansaldo Breda and Ansaldo STS) for the new Princess Noura University.
Ignazio Messina & C’s industrial plan (2009-2014) will be concluded with the final acquisition of all the 8 ro-ro vessels provided with the most modern antipollution systems and advanced technology.
The vessels’ anti-pollution systems include an innovative and sophisticated exhaust gas cleansing system that won Ignazio Messina & C’s new units the first Green Plus recognition by the Italian Naval Register (RINA), an institution certifying the respect of the environment.