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Containerships of Finland orders dual-fuel LNG vessels

LNG Industry,

Finnish cargo company Containerships has ordered an additional two dual-fuel engine-technology containerships.

This follows the announcement earlier in 2014 of an order for two similar vessels. Containerships will be the first shortsea container operator in Europe to run ships powered by LNG.

Environmental standards

Commenting on the order, CEO Kari-Pekka Laaksonen noted: “Our new ships will not just meet, but exceed all environmental standards in the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) where we operate. On top of this, with the gas mode, the engines are Tier III compliant with the upcoming IMO emission regulations for SECA areas also regarding NOx.

“In addition to the new ships we are also planning to invest in an LNG-powered truck fleet in Finland, Russia and the UK to offer the most sustainable logistics solution from door to door.”

LNG fuel

The additional two new ships will be delivered during 2017. Containerships will receive the already announced two vessels in 2016. All four ships will use LNG, however will also be able to burn conventional marine diesel oil/heavy fuel.

Containerships’ new ships include many innovative features: they will offer the highest flexibility for 45-ft units among container ships operating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Each ship will accommodate up to 639 units of 45-ft containers and have a total capacity of 1400 TEU. They will also be able to accommodate up to 300 refrigerated containers. Other technical innovations include hull, propeller and rudder optimisation and generators using dual-fuel technology allowing an eco-friendly way to generate electricity while staying at port.

Alternative solutions

“It is important to emphasise that in order to meet future regulations, most competitors on the market will use alternative solutions, such as marine gas oil with decreased sulphur content. These options do not require the same level of investment as the solution Containerships has chosen. Our strategy is to stay well ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental regulations, and to be a pioneer in eco-friendly shipping while continuing to offer customers the best value for money,” added Laaksonen.

Investing millions

The total value of Containerships’ investments for land and sea operations will be approximately €250 – 300 million. “This is a huge leap for a family owned company. Instead of calling the new environmental regulation an obligation, we see it as a big opportunity for sustainable growth. Our aim is to double both our volume and turnover within 5 - 6 years,” Laaksonen continued.

Containerships will operate the vessels under long-term charters. GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg will act as owner and technical manager, while Arkon will act as commercial manager and charter broker. The ships will be built in China; Wärtsilä will deliver the main engines.

Laaksonen concluded: “In addition to the option of chartering, we are also considering acquiring the new vessels as our own assets. This would of course mean new big investments and also new career opportunities for Finnish professionals.”

Adapted from a press release by Katie Woodward

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