Finnish cargo company Containerships Group says it has ordered two additional LNG-fueled containerships for operations in Europe’s short-sea trade where new emission control area regulations will come into force in 2015.
The two newbuilds are a follow on to two previously announced dual fuel ships ordered by Containerships Group along with GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg and ARKON Shipping.
“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,” notes the CEO of Containerships, Kari-Pekka Laaksonen.
The two newbuilds ships will be delivered during 2017, while the previously announced vessels will be delivered 2016.
All four vessels will be equipped with dual fuel engines capable of operating on both LNG and conventional marine diesel oil/heavy fuel. They will also offer the highest flexibility for 45-foot units among all containerships operating the the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, according to Containerships Group, with capacity for up to 639 45-foot containers and 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, Containerships Group says.
“It is important to emphasize 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,” says Laaksonen.
The total value of Containerships’ investments for land and sea operations will be approximately 250–300 million euros.
“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,” reveals Laaksonen.
Containerships will be chartering the ships over the long term. The owner and technical manager will be GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg, while Arkon will be the commercial manager and the charter broker. The ships will be built in China and the main engines will 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,” states Laaksonen.
Illustration courtesy Containerships Group