Containerships Ltd Oy, GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg, and ARKON Shipping have ordered 2 two-plus-two dual-fuel engine-technology container ships. The new ships will feature innovative design elements for the European short-sea trade. Containerships will be chartering the ships over the long term, the owner and technical manager will be GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg, while Arkon will be the commercial manager and the charter broker.
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. Containerships claims it will be the first short-sea container operator in Europe to run ships on LNG. The new container ships 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. 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 on): use low-sulphur fuel oil, or higher-sulphur fuel together with abatement technology (scrubbers), or LNG.
According to a recent survey, most shipping lines operating in the SECA area will use gas oil when the SECA regulations come into force, but industry studies indicate that, in view of the significantly higher cost of fuel oil, over time investments in LNG technology or Scrubber technology will predominate. Containerships’ strategy is to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental regulations, and to be a pioneer in eco-friendly shipping while continuing to offer its customers the best value for money.
LNG makes the best ecological sense: it is the cleanest fossil fuel on the market. Burning it emits no sulphur or particulate matter. Using it in these new ships will also allow Containerships to reduce emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas, by 25%, according to Gasum.
Each ship will accommodate up to 639 units of 45-foot containers and have a total capacity of 1,400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). They will also be able to accommodate up to 300 refrigerated containers. Not only the main engine but also the generators will use dual-fuel technology, thus allowing for an eco-friendly way to generate the electricity needed to run the ships and the above-mentioned refrigerated containers, for instance.
The CEO of Containerships, Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, notes that the decision to invest in the dual-fuel engine technology is fully in line with the company’s long-term strategy. The Managing Director of GNS Shipping and Nordic Hamburg, Dr. Rowil Ponta, staes the ships will be the new benchmark for the European feeder trades in terms of environmental and economical efficiency.”
ARKON Shipping’s Ole Gabs notes: “Every crisis creates opportunities. Today, after 100 years of using IFO fuel as the main product for running ship engines, and with the upcoming introduction of new SECA regulations, we are facing a paradigm shift. Energy-efficient, eco-friendly ships are the future of shipping. We are delighted, and proud, to be co-initiators of one of the first LNG container-ship projects in Europe together with two strong partners. We are confident that this project is the right step at the right time. It has been developed in consultation with SMB Naval Architects, under the stewardship of Hans Karel Stam, with whom we have developed other ships in the past.”