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LNG-fuelled bulk carrier commences operations

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LNG Industry,

Aspo Plc has announced that the new m/s Viikki bulk carrier, owned by its subsidiary ESL Shipping, has started operating on the Baltic Sea.

The 25 600 dwt vessel is 160 m long and fuelled by LNG. It was constructed in China and, after completion, first sailed to Japan to load a cargo of raw materials. From there, it arrived at the Baltic Sea via the Northeast Passage, which decreased the journey from Japan by three weeks, and the emissions of the journey by 40% compared to a trip via the Panama Canal.

Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director, ESL Shipping, said: “We are highly aware of the discussion about the environmental issues relating to the maritime industry. Design work on m/s Viikki and its sister vessel m/s Haaga was started five years ago, and these vessels are the manifestation of everything that is possible in the way of environmental efficiency today.”

The vessel uses LNG in its main engine, three auxiliary engines and the boiler. It has been designed in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) that rates the energy efficiency of newbuildings. Even today, the vessel meets the environmental requirements of 2025.

Both Viikki and Haaga have been designed for intensive traffic, with several port calls each week. Cargo handling will often take place with the vessel’s own cranes. A distinctive feature in Viikki is its automatic cranes, which were developed collaboratively with MacGregor, and are capable of unloading the cargo to a conveyor or on the pier unassisted.

Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping, said: “Shipping companies are an essential part of the maritime cluster. Over the past eight years, Aspo has invested about €200 million in ESL Shipping, because we believe that solutions based on automation and environmental efficiency are the only way to bring the entire industry forward.”

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