German shipbuilder Flensburger-Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), located in the far north of Germany, has been contracted by Australian shipping company SeaRoad to construct a 181 metres long liquefied natural gas (LNG)-propelled RoRo ferry ship. It is the first time FSG has focussed on an LNG newbuild and the first time it will supply to Australia.
FSG and SeaRoad have been working intensively over the past years on this project, reaching an agreement to build the LNG-fuelled vessel in May 2014 and now formalising this with the signing of this contract.
The world’s first RoRo ferry of this size with LNG propulsion is designed to provide future regular liner service across the 240 km-wide Bass Strait, between Melbourne on the Australian mainland and Devonport on the island of Tasmania. She will feature an FSG-design that enables flexible cargo carrying capable of transporting containers, including reefer units, trailers, cars and hazardous cargo, as well as live animals – for example cattle. She is purported to be the first RoRo ferry in the world able to transport reefer containers and hazardous cargo side by side.
Liquefied natural gas propulsion makes the new ferry a ‘green ship’. “LNG operation is currently the cleanest fuel combustion process in existence”, says FSG Managing Director Peter Sierk. “The emission of sulphur oxides (SO2) and dust is almost nil while that of nitrous oxides (Nox) is also reduced by nearly 100% and that of carbon dioxide (CO2) by about 20%”, he adds.
The LNG is taken on board the ship in mobile tanks during regular ship loading and unloading. Once on board, the tanks are secured and become fixed ship fuel tanks without the need for any transshipment thanks to a special locking system also developed by FSG.
The newbuilding will be 181 metres long, 26.6 metres wide and have more than 1960 lane metres available. Her speed will be 20.5 knots.
It is planned to start construction at FSG on Flensburg’s Batteriestrasse in September 2015 and to deliver the ship in the third quarter of 2016.