Two Pure Car/Truck Carriers Are Now in Service with UECC,
Volkswagen Has Ordered Two More to be Operated by Siem
Two made-in-China, nearly 600-foot pure car/truck carrier vessels with liquefied natural gas-diesel dual fuel engines have been placed in short-sea service in the Baltic by Norway-based UECC – United European Car Carriers.
Separately, Volkswagen has ordered two slightly larger PCTCs from Siem Car Carriers, to transport vehicles from Europe to North America from 2019.
UECC’s 594-foot (181-meter) ships, the Auto Eco and Auto Energy, were built by NACKS, China’s Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering Company. They are each powered by a 8S50ME-C8.2-GI engines designed by MAN Diesel & Turbine and manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. They develop 11,000 kilowatts, or 14,750 horsepower.
Lloyd’s Register Ice Classification
In addition to the MAN dual-fuel engines, wach of the UECC ships has three auxiliary 4-stroke dual-fuel engines from Wärtsilä: two nine-cylinder W9L20DFs and one six-cylinder W6L20DF per ship.
LNG fuel for the UECC’s vessels for the Baltic Sae is stored in a single insulated IMO Type C storage tank able to hold approximately 800 cubic meters, or more than 210,000 gallons of LNG.
The Lloyd’s Register/ice-classed PCTCs can each carry 4,000 RT43 car units. “They are trading in our Baltic service handling a number of different automobile manufacturers,” says UECC sales and marketing chief Bjørn Svenningsen.
Zeebrugge Is the Bunker Base
Partners including Belgium’s Port of Zeebrugge, Engie (formerly GDF Suez) and Japan’s Mitsubishi and NYK disclosed plans in 2014 for a large LNG bunker vessel to support the UECC vessels (HHP Insight, July 2, 2014). For now, the PCTCs are being fueled truck-to-ship at Zeebrugge using LNG supplied by Engie, Svenningsen told F&F.
The planned 200-meter (approximate, about 656 feet) ships for Volkswagen are also to have MAN’s LNG-diesel dual fuel engines, generating 12,600 kilowatts, nearly 16,900 horsepower. They will have under-deck LNG fuel tanks able to hold 3,000 cubic meters of fuel, more than 790,000 gallons, for transatlantic service.
‘A Genuine Milestone,’ Says Volkswagen
“The two planned charter vessels from Siem Car Carriers are a genuine milestone on the way to eco-friendlier marine transport,” states a Volkswagen release. Siem Car Carriers affiliate Siem Offshore already operates a substantial number of LNG-fueled vessels, primarily for offshore energy platform support.
“The Volkswagen Group is shouldering its responsibility for the environment,” group production chief Wolfram Thomas says in the LNG car carrier announcement
‘Pooling All Our Efforts’
“This not only applies to our cars but also to our production and logistics,” Thomas said.
“By commissioning the two LNG-powered freighters for the route between Europe and North America, Volkswagen Group Logistics is forging ahead with environmentally compatible, resource-efficient transport.”
More LNG Transport for Volkswagen?
The two LNG ships will replace two of the nine conventional freighters powered by heavy fuel oil, Volkswagen says. They will each be able to carry some 4,500 vehicles. The automaker said too that “the changeover of other conventionally powered freighters to LNG drive systems is under consideration.”
Volkswagen was rocked in 2016 by charges that it deliberately falsified emissions data in the U.S. , and the U.S. EPA said last week that the company has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil penalties. The automaker noted in its late-2016 announcement about the two new LNG-powered car carriers that it signed onto Europe’s Clean Shipping Network “at the beginning of 2014 and was the first German automaker to use this index for assessing the environmental impact of marine transport.”
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Source: UECC, Volkswagen, Lloyd’s Register with Fleets & Fuels follow-up