UECC has launched the third and final newbuild in a series of dual-fuel LNG battery hybrid PCTCs (Pure Car and Truck Carrier), being rolled out at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard.
The launch of hull number H2665 on 28 December comes seven months after the keel-laying ceremony for the vessel and follows the recent final delivery of the first newbuild, named Auto Advance, with the second and third ships due to be delivered in the first half of this year.
“We are rapidly building up our low-emission fleet to become the leading eco-friendly shortsea carrier in Europe through the addition of these newbuilds that will, alongside the use of alternative fuels on our existing vessels, drastically reduce UECC’s environmental footprint,” said UECC chief executive, Glenn Edvardsen. ‘
The UECC chief also hailed the “monumental efforts” of Jiangnan Shipyard in overcoming logistical supply chain and manpower capacity obstacles, caused largely by the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the newbuilding programme remains on schedule with the latest vessel launch.
“The first of these newbuilds is already in commercial operation and UECC’s ambition to take our fleet to the next level of environmental performance by mid-2022 remains firmly on track thanks to the yard’s adaptability, expertise and productivity,” added Edvardsen.
The second of the newbuilds is now in the final stages of construction after being launched at the yard last summer. When all three are delivered, UECC will have a total of five eco-friendly PCTCs out of its owned fleet of nine vessels, including two dual-fuel LNG units that have been in operation for the past five years.
The use of battery hybrid technology, combined with a dual-fuel solution, on the latest newbuilds will enable the ships to exceed the IMO’s (International Maritime Organisation) goal to cut carbon intensity by 40% by 2030 compared with 2008 levels. Emissions of carbon dioxide will be reduced by around 25%, SOx and particulate matter by 90% and NOx by 85% from the use of LNG, while the newbuilds will also meet the IMO’s Tier 3 NOx emissions limitations for the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
As well as using the technological solution with Jiangnan, UECC has experimented with low-carbon energy such as biofuel on its existing PCTC, Autosky, which has resulted in a 58% reduction in carbon intensity across a 12-month period.
The European shortsea ro-ro carrier is also looking to extend the use of the fuel to other vessels based on possible trial cargoes backed by customers, according to energy and sustainability manager, Daniel Gent. With the addition of the newbuilds, UECC will have 80% of its total lifting capacity meeting or exceeding the IMO target already this year as it aims to achieve an annual cut of 34,500 tonnes in CO2 emissions by 2025, compared with 18,700 tonnes in 2020 and 277 tonnes in 2016.
“We are taking advantage of available dual-fuel and hybrid technology with these newbuilds, while proactively adopting existing low-carbon fuels on our operational vessels to make a difference for the environment right now,” noted Edvardsen.
“With the likely implementation of the EU’s Emissions Trading System for shipping from 2023, we believe these efforts will also represent a competitive advantage for UECC amid increasing demands from customers, regulators and financial institutions for green operations.”