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Two more dual-fuel ships for European container operator

Vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2017.





Updated on 26 Sep 2014 14:05 GMT

Finnish firm Containerships Ltd Oy has ordered two additional new, state-of-the-art, dual-fuel container ships.

The end-to-end cargo operator announced earlier this year an order of two similar vessels. The company is set to be the first shortsea container operator in Europe to run ships on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Commenting on the company's latest order, Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, chief executive officer (CEO) of Containerships Ltd Oy, said: "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."

The additional two new ships are scheduled to be delivered in 2017. Containerships is due to receive the previously announced two vessels in 2016. All four ships will use LNG but will also be able to burn marine distillates and intermediate fuel oil (IFO).

According to Containerships, the new vessels will offer the highest flexibility for 45-foot units among container ships operating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Each ship will accommodate up to 639 units of 45-foot containers and have a total capacity of 1,400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). They will also be able to accommodate up to 300 refrigerated containers.

Other technical innovations include hull, propeller and rudder optimization and generators using dual-fuel technology allowing an eco-friendly way to generate electricity while staying at port.

"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," commented Laaksonen.

"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," revealed Laaksonen.

Containerships will be chartering the ships over the long term; the owner and technical manager will be GNS Shipping GmbH & Co KG/Nordic Hamburg, while Arkon will be the commercial manager and the charter broker. The ships are to be built in China and the main engines to be delivered by Wärtsilä.

"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," said Laaksonen.

Image: The series of new 1400 TEU container vessels being built for GNS Shipping GmbH & Co KG managed by Nordic Hamburg, will feature 7-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF dual-fuel 2-stroke main engines.






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