Emma Mærsk, Worlds Largest Container Carrier

Emma Mærsk, information & data:
General introduction:
The ship is named after Emma Mærsk, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller's late wife. M/S EMMA MÆRSK is a very large container ship, and has been built applying the newest technology in design and equipment. In the engine room and cargo holds 8,000 data signals are continuously monitored by an advanced, integrated computer system. This ensures optimal operating conditions automatically giving guidance to ensure a well functioning operation of the vessel. The centre for the integrated computer system is the engine control room. The system can also be remote-controlled from the navigating bridge and from the cargo control room. M/S EMMA MÆRSK is a rational and highly automated ship thoroughly monitored by advanced computer systems. The ship can therefore be operated by a crew of 13 persons only. Accommodation is arranged for 30 persons.


The life-saving equipment consists of two 38 persons’ lifeboats, six life rafts and one man-over-board boat (“MOB”). The latest radio, telex, telefax, and satellite telephone systems ensure efficient communication to the world. An air conditioning system gives comfortable indoor temperatures regardless of outside weather. Combined with a low level of noise and vibrations this ensures ideal conditions for both work and leisure. M/S EMMA MÆRSK is designed and built to meet the highest demands for safe, precise, environmentally friendly and economic transportation of goods all over the world.

Lets dive into this magnificent vessel in more detail:

Emma Maersk engine data:

The Emma Mærsk is powered by a Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine (14 cylinders), currently the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 110,000 horsepower at 102 RPM (82 MW). Engine length is 89 ft, and height is 44 ft. The cylinder bore is just under 38" and the stroke is just over 98". Each cylinder displaces 111,143 cubic inches (1820 liters) and produces 7780 horsepower. Total displacement comes out to 1,556,002 cubic inches (25,480 liters) for the fourteen cylinder version.

Engine block
8 cylinder version
Top view

The engines are available in 6 to 14 cylinders, and some images are from the smaller engines.

Emma Maersk fuel consumption:
Fuel consumption at maximum power is 0.278 lbs per hp per hour (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption). Fuel consumption at maximum economy is 0.260 lbs/hp/hour. At maximum economy the engine exceeds 50% thermal efficiency. That is, more than 50% of the energy in the fuel in converted to motion. For comparison, most automotive and small aircraft engines have BSFC figures in the 0.40-0.60 lbs/hp/hr range and 25-30% thermal efficiency range. Even at its most efficient power setting, the big 14 cylinders consumes 1,660 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour.
That may sound as a staggering volume, but it’s important to remember to calculate this as use per ton of cargo, and not just volume. Emma Maersk travels 66 kilometers using 1 kWh of energy per ton of cargo, while a jumbo jet travels only 0,5 kilometers using the same amount of energy per ton of cargo. In fact, Emma is by far a more efficient way of transportation of cargo than fx. air, trains or trucks. On top of that many innovative systems cut pollution levels to amazingly low levels.

Emma Maersk and the environment:
The following illustrations show the (simplified) waste heat recovery system.

Click images to enlarge.

Through out the world, a number of environmental laws and regulation requires less and less pollution. The Emma Maersk has several features to protect the environment, which not only meet these laws and regulations, but takes it even further and beyond. This includes recycling the exhaust, mixed with fresh air, back into the engine for reuse. This not only increases efficiency by as much as 12% but also reduces engine emissions.
Also, a waste heat recovery system is installed to optimize the use of the energy produced.

The left image shows the waste heat recovery system setup.
The right illustration compares an ordinary engine with the waste heat recycling (WHR) engine, which utilizes this waste heat for heating (Fx. in the accommodation), propulsion (The two add-on engines on the shaft.), and general electrical power. (Fx. for reefer power.)

The following two illustrations shows the smoke stack and the engine compartment as they are arranged along with the systems mentioned above, below the superstructure.
Notice the little blue man just left and below the left image center for scale illustration…

Click images to enlarge.

The lower part of the hull deserves attention as well:

Click image to enlarge.
Traditionally ships are painted with a poisonous paint meant to keep of growth, which produces drag thus increases fuel consumption. This paint must be refreshed ever so often, constantly introducing more poison to the sea. You can see this cycle every spring at your local marina, when the boat owners sand the remains of the old layer off, and applies a new coat. This traditional paint is knows as biocides.
Instead of biocides on Emma, a special silicon-based paint is used. This increases the ship's efficiency by reducing drag while also protecting the ocean from biocides that may leak. The silicon paint covering the part of the hull below the waterline is credited for lowering the water drag enough to economize 1200 tones of fuel per year.
Finally, the bunker fuel tanks are placed away from the outer part of the hull.

Emma Maersk propeller data:

The shaft system extents from the main engine via two 9MW electric motors, and to the propeller. The total length of the shaft system is 120 meters, and it weighs in at a staggering 605 tons!
The Emma Maersk propeller is an MMG six bladed, one-piece, fixed pitch propeller, which weighs in at 131 tons. The diameter is 9.6 meters. (Note that it turns clockwise.)

Please visit the gallery for more images of the propeller and rudder.

Yard fire:
In June 2006, during construction, welding works caused a devastating fire in the accommodation quarters in the early days of June. A welding job on the main deck, close to the end of working hours, led to a fire that totally destroyed the almost finished accommodation quarters and all the equipment in the wheelhouse. Shipyard Baltija at Klaipeda – where the accommodation quarters were built and equipped – had to speed up the process and then Emma Maersk was shipped to Odense. Two Dutch floating cranes shifted the quarters in mid July. The old, burnt out quarters were sold to the nearby recycling company H. J. Hansen for demolition.

Please click here to read the official technical note on Emma Maersk. (Printer friendly)

The PS-class:

Emma has got seven sisters:

IMO no: Lindø no: Name: Named: Maiden voyage: Homeport:
9321483 L203 M/S Emma Mærsk August 12, 2006 September 8, 2006 Taarbæk, DK
9321495 L204 M/S Estelle Mærsk October 2, 2006 November 9, 2006 Hellerup, DK
9321500 L205 M/S Eleonora Mærsk November 25, 2006 January 21, 2007 Svendborg, DK
9321512 L206 M/S Evelyn Mærsk Marts 3, 2007 Marts 29, 2007 Copenhagen, DK
9321524 L207 M/S Ebba Mærsk May 21, 2007 June 6, 2007 Copenhagen, DK
9321536 L208 M/S Elly Mærsk August 25, 2007 ? Svendborg, DK
9321548 L209 M/S Edith Mærsk November 3, 2007 ? Roskilde, DK
9321550 L210 M/S Eugen Maersk December 15, 2007 ? Randers, DK

These eight ships complete the PS family, and there are no more on their way from Lindoe at this time.

The PS-class specifications:

Builders: Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd. (Lindø), Denmark.
Port of registry: (Emma) Taarbæk, Denmark.
Propulsion: 14-cylinder Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C, developing 110,000 BHP or 80,000 kW at 102 revolutions per minute. To augment speed the propeller drive shaft is fitted with two electric motors.
Two bow and two stern thrusters, each with of 25 tons transverse thrust, are fitted to facilitate easy maneuvering in port.
Rolling in adverse weather conditions is reduced by two pairs of active stabilizer fins, thus adding an extra dimension to cargo protection.
Propeller: 1 x 6-bladed, fixed pitch, propeller. Made in one piece. Weight: 131 tons. Diameter: 9.6 meters.
Power plant: 5 Caterpillar 8M32 diesel generators with a combined power of 20,700 kW,
and 1 combined gas/steam turbine generator of 8,500 kW (driven by the main engine exhaust) are installed.
Length overall: 1302' 6" (397 meters)
Beam: 183' 8" (56 meters)
Draft: 50' 10" (15.5 meters)
Tonnage: Gross = 170,974 bt, Net = 55,396 nt, Deadweight (DWT) = 156,907 DWT
Speed: Official: 25.5+ knots (29.4+ miles per hour, 47.2+ kph)
Capacity: (Note 1) Official:M/S Emma Mærsk can carry11,000 TEU, including 1,000 forty foot reefer containers. Quick and safe lashing of the containers on deck is made possible through the yard patented lashing bridge.
Crew: The ship has accommodation for 30 people, though the normal crew is only 13.

Note 1: Container capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU, or sometimes teu). An equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft (length) × 8 ft (width) × 9 ft in (height) container. In metric units this is 6.10 m (length) × 2.44 m (width) × 2.59 m (height), or approximately 38.5 m³.

Please see this page for a few notes about container capacity.

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