Celebrating a milestone: Hull of innovative tanker Stolt Ludwigshafen arrives in Rotterdam

Three years ago, BASF started its plans for the construction of an innovative chemical tanker with a unique design allowing it to operate even in the extreme low-water conditions of the Rhine. BASF and Stolt Tankers are pleased to announce that they have reached an important milestone in building the barge.

Constructed in China, the hull recently arrived in Rotterdam where it will be prepared for its first voyage in spring 2023.

“Following the unprecedented low water levels of the Rhine in 2018, I am pleased that with our robust contingency measures already taken, we were able to manage the challenges of this year’s low water period quite well. The innovative design of the Stolt Ludwigshafen will be another crucial element for further increasing the supply security and thereby competitiveness of our largest manufacturing site in the world”, said Uwe Liebelt, President European Verbund Sites, BASF SE.

“We are confident that the barge will be operational during spring 2023. With Stolt Tankers, we have found a creative, reliable, and highly experienced partner with whom we are looking forward to celebrating the successful completion of this project together.”

Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers, said: “I am proud of what we have achieved during this exciting partnership with BASF which supports our commitment to developing new technologies and ship designs for a greener maritime industry. Our team is primed and ready to start the next, crucial stage of the building process. We are looking forward to operating the Stolt Ludwigshafen exclusively for BASF and seeing a considerable period of planning and preparation brought to life!”

Introducing Stolt Ludwigshafen

The hull of the Stolt Ludwigshafen was built by Mercurius Shipping Group in Yangzhou, China on behalf of Stolt Tankers. After mechanical completion it was carefully loaded onto a transport ship in September and safely arrived in Dutch waters after seven weeks at sea. An exciting period of fitting out the barge will now begin. In this next phase, the Ludwigshafen will be equipped with comfortable crew accommodation, the engines, wheelhouse, line systems and electrics.

Innovative design

The main objective of this project was to create a barge with a high load-bearing capacity and a shallow draught, while always ensuring safe operations and full maneuverability even in extreme low-water situations.

The measurements of the new tanker are 135 by 17.5 metres, which is considerably larger than the average barges on the Rhine. BASF designed the ship together with a consortium consisting of Duisburger Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V, (DST), Technolog Services GmbH and Agnos Consulting, who specialise in various aspects of shipbuilding.

BASF was able to join forces with Stolt Tankers for the subsequent detailed design. Stolt Tankers has contributed significant expertise to the project and will build the ship and operate it exclusively for BASF.

Image: © BASF SE/Mercurius