Volkswagen Group Logistics continues it drive for improved environmental credentials by electing to use two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered charter vessels from Siem Car Carriers AS for vehicle shipment between Europe and North America from 2019. Alternative LNG drive systems for ships reduce air pollutant emissions significantly – CO2 by up to 25% and NOx by up to 30%, particulate matters by up to 60% and SOx by as much as 100%.
The Volkswagen Group says the two planned charter vessels from Siem Car Carriers are a genuine milestone on the way to eco-friendlier marine transport. In addition, the Group intends to transfer vehicle and material transport in Europe increasingly from trucks to lower-emission means of transport such as ships in the future.
Wolfram Thomas, Head of Group Production, said: “The Volkswagen Group is shouldering its responsibility for the environment. This not only applies to our cars but also to our production and logistics. We are pooling all our efforts to improve environmental compatibility in Logistics under the term Green Logistics.” The use of LNG-powered roll on/roll off car carriers on other routes is currently being considered.
The two LNG-powered vessels, with a length of about 200 meters and a width of about 36 meters, have a capacity of about 4,500 vehicles. Equipped with a 3,000 m³ LNG tank installed below deck, the vessels will have a comparable capacity to conventional transatlantic freighters. Both ships will feature a 12,600 kW engine developed by MAN Diesel & Turbo.
Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics, adds: “The possibility of changing other vehicle transport vessels chartered by Volkswagen over to LNG operation will depend on the availability of the necessary infrastructure. Apart from LNG as an alternative fuel, we are also working on other projects which will continuously make our logistics processes more environmentally compatible.”
The LNG ships will replace two of the nine conventional freighters powered by heavy fuel oil from 2019 onwards. These are used exclusively for the Volkswagen Group in a round trip scheme across the North Atlantic serving the markets of Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.
“We are pleased to have taken on board a partner in Volkswagen Group Logistics with whom we can pursue this innovative, future-oriented approach to roll-on/roll-of transport for the first time. The use of LNG-powered car carriers not only makes marine transport of this type more environmentally compatible but will also make the entire operation significantly more efficient in the long term,” says Kenneth Ross CEO of Siem Car Carriers AS.