Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Container Line Orders LNG Powered Ships for European Freight Feeder Trade

Vessels 'Set the Benchmark' for Lower Sulphur Pollution Levels as Emission Controls Loom Closer
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – Finnish box freight line Containerships, in collaboration with German shipper Arkon Shipping and GNS Shipping along with its parent company Nordic Hamburg, have ordered 2 ‘two-plus-two’, dual fuel container ships, to be used in European short sea freight trade. The new ships will offer the highest flexibility for 45 foot units among the feeder services operating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and each ship will accommodate up to 639 x 45 foot units with a total capacity of 1,368 TEU’s and each vessel also has 372 reefer plugs.

The ships, both of which will be delivered in the course of 2016, will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) but will also be able to burn conventional marine diesel oil/heavy fuel, hence the ‘dual-fuel engine-technology’ label and not only the main engines but also the ships generators will use that technology thus permitting a more ecologically friendly way of producing power for the refrigerated containers etc.

Containerships will be chartering the ships over the long term, with GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg as the owner and technical manager, while Arkon will be the commercial manager and the charter broker. The Helsinki headquartered line will be the first short-sea container operator in Europe to run ships on LNG and the company is passionate about the plan saying the new vessels will offer the most efficient and environmentally friendly option for transporting containers by sea, and will not just meet but exceed environmental standards in the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in which Containerships operates.

The company points out that there are three ways to ensure that sulphur emissions from ships operating in the European SECA do not exceed 0.1% m/m (the limit for sulphur emissions from 1 January 2015 onwards): use low-sulphur fuel oil, or higher-sulphur fuel together with abatement technology (scrubbers), or LNG. *LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel on the market as it emits no sulphur or particulate matter when burning. Using it in these new ships will also allow Containerships to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% according to the line.

Managing Director of GNS Shipping and Nordic Hamburg, Dr. Rowil Ponta said that the new vessels ‘set the benchmark’ for the European feeder trades in terms of environmental and economic efficiency, and Containerships CEO Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, explained the reason for the order, saying:

"We are a short-sea operator that is in it for the long haul, and these state-of-the art ships are just one part of our long-term strategy. In addition to offering the most ecologically sustainable solution, the intake capacity of these ships will allow us to keep meeting growing customer demand. And we’re confident that both of our partners on this project have the know-how and the experience to deliver."

*Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is being used throughout the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. LNG (liquid natural gas) is natural gas which is a super cooled to 162 degrees centigrade, turning it from its normal gaseous state into a liquid form which increases its density and makes it easily transportable. LNG is odourless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. When exposed to the environment, LNG rapidly evaporates, leaving no residue on water or soil. If spilled, LNG would not result in a slick because 100% of it evaporates, leaving no residue behind. Source: CLNG-centre of liquefied natural gas.