The Norwegian shipping company UECC (United European Car Carriers) presented its newly built vessel “Auto Energy” at an event for its customers at Bremerhaven’s Überseehafen. The 181-metre long and 30-metre wide car carrier runs on environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG). “In opting for LNG, UECC has shown pioneering ecological spirit in the maritime shipping business,” commented Jörg Schulz, Bremen’s State Councillor for Ports. During his visit on board the vessel, Schulz explicitly praised the shipping company’s ecological commitment.
UECC’s customers – mainly forwarding agents and members of the automobile and mechanical engineering industry – had the chance to look around the vessel, which is still a rare example in the maritime shipping business. The “Auto Energy” is the world’s largest car carrier with a main engine that can run on LNG. “In LNG operation, the emission of nitrogen oxides is reduced by up to 80 per cent and there are no sulphur dioxide or particulate emissions at all,” said Schulz.
The “Auto Energy” is a dual-fuel vessel, which means she can run not only on LNG, but also on heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil. Modern technologies ensure that emissions and fuel consumption are reduced. The vessel satisfies the high standards that apply within the SECA zones.
According to UECC, the “Auto Energy” can carry up to 4000 cars and has a ramp capacity of up to 160 tons. The new vessel has 1A ice class certification. The “Auto Energy” can load extremely high components: her ten decks can be adjusted to a height of 5.30 metres, providing ample space for cargo on Mafi trailers and for high & heavy rolling cargo such as mobile cranes, agricultural machinery and crawler excavators. Her sister ship, the “Auto Eco”, has the same features.
The two new LNG-propelled vessels will operate on European routes, linking the ports of Southampton, Zeebrugge, Bremerhaven, Malmö, Hanko, St. Petersburg and Gdynia. The “Auto Energy” came to Bremerhaven from Finland and sailed from Germany’s largest automobile terminal at the weekend, heading for Southampton.