United European Car Carriers (UECC) is pressing ahead with the construction of three LNG battery-hybrid pure car and truck carriers (PCTC), the first of which is scheduled for delivery later this year.

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The second and third vessels are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2022. UECC said that the keel-laying ceremony for the third ship was celebrated this week at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard.  

“When they hit the water, these state-of-the-art vessels will represent a sea change for the industry by using available LNG technology to drastically cut emissions on short sea shipping in Europe,” said UECC chief executive Glenn Edvardsen. The use of a battery-hybrid solution will take UECC beyond the IMO target of a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity from 2008 levels by 2030, he added.

Battery power on the new vessels will improve operational efficiency, further reduce emissions through peak shaving, and drive auxiliary equipment. This will enable them to recharge batteries while at sea using a shaft generator in order to use battery power for manoeuvring in ports in line with port requirements to cut emissions, said UECC.

CO2 emissions will be reduced by around 25 percent, SOx and particulate matter by 90 percent and NOx by 85 percent from the use of LNG.

In addition, the ships will be equipped with dual-fuel engines for main propulsion and auxiliaries that will also be able to use carbon-neutral and synthetic drop-in fuels as these become commercially available in the future. 

Edvardsen believes that being able to offer eco-friendly ship operations will be a key differentiating factor in winning cargo contracts in the future shipping market due to increased pressure from regulators, port authorities and clients. 

With an overall length of 169 m, a width of 28 m and a car carrying capacity of 3,600 units on ten cargo decks, the new vessels are able to accommodate a wide range of high, heavy and breakbulk cargoes, in addition to cars and trucks.