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Volkswagen to use LNG-powered car freighters

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LNG Industry,


Volkswagen Group Logistics has announced that it is the first company to use two car freighters powered by LNG in overseas traffic.

According to the statement, the two charter ships of Siem Car Carriers were launched on 15 November in Xiamen, China.

Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics, said: “We are entering a new field here to reduce emissions. Both ships are the first overseas car freighters in the world to be LNG-powered. In addition to the in-creasing use of LNG trucks, conversion of our many rail transports to green electricity and the use of biofuel in the short sea segment, the two new LNG ships represent an important building block for our strategic goal of climate-neutral logistics.”

Christiane Eckert, Head of Strategy and Environment in Group Production, gave the ship its name, saying: “Dear ship, I name you SIEM CONFUCIUS, and may your first embrace with the sea be successful. May you always sail in calm seas with seven feet under the keel!

“I am looking forward to the deployment of the first two LNG ships from next year, an important milestone for our production strategy 'goTOzero' with the goal of production and logistics not harming our environment.”

According to the statement, both vessels will replace two of the nine conventional heavy oil-powered cargo ships currently used by Group logistics on the Atlantic between Europe and North America. The SIEM CONFUCIUS will be integrated into this service from January 2020 after its transfer from Asia to Europe. The second ship will commence operations in spring 2020 in the same area.

Both vessels measure 200 m long and 38 m wide. They also both have 13 car decks and a capacity of 7500 RT, which corresponds to approximately 4700 vehicles of the Volkswagen Group model mix. To date, only a few smaller ships for rolling cargo have been built with LNG propulsion for short-haul traffic. For overseas vehicle shipments, Group logistics is a pioneer for this type of propulsion.

According to the statement, both vehicle transporters are powered by a 12 600 kW dual-fuel marine engine with direct injec-tion and exhaust gas treatment from MAN Energy Solutions of the Volkswagen Group. In addition to LNG, they can also be powered using environmentally friendly e-gas produced via Power-to-X or biogas. In eco-speed mode, the ships travel at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/hr). With their two 1800 m3 tanks, the transporters have similar vehicle capacities and ranges compared to conventional heavy oil-powered ocean freighters.

Uwe Lauber, CEO MAN Energy Solutions, said: “We believe that the switch to LNG as marine fuel is the most important basis for a maritime energy revolution.

“In a second step, gas-capable ships can be operated with synthetically produced, climate-neutral fuels and are therefore future-proof. With this project, Volkswagen is pioneering the decarbonisation of global trade flows.”

Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/22112019/volkswagen-to-use-lng-powered-car-freighters/

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