LNG container ships are coming to the European short sea trades.
The Finnish short sea operator Containerships Ltd Oy, GNS Shipping/Nordic Hamburg, and ARKON Shipping said Wednesday they have ordered dual-fuel engine-technology container ships that will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) but will also be able to burn conventional marine diesel oil/heavy fuel.
Container ships 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.
Both ships will be delivered in 2016.
U.S. shipping companies such as Tote, Sea Star, Matson, Horizon and Interlake are building new ships to run on LNG or converting ships so they can use gas in their engines, but the companies said Finland’s Containerships will be “the first short-sea container operator in Europe to run ships on LNG.”
“The new container ships will offer the most efficient and environmentally friendly option for transporting containers by sea, and will not just meet but exceed environmental standards in the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in which Containerships operates,” the companies said in a joint press release
“The new ships also include innovative features: they 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. Not only the main engine but also the generators will use dual-fuel technology, thus allowing for an eco-friendly way to generate the electricity needed to run the ships and the above-mentioned refrigerated containers, for instance,” the companies said.