Another LNG-Fueled Bulker Newbuilding Joins ESL Shipping

Finnish shipping company ESL Shipping has taken delivery of another LNG-fueled bulk carrier, Viikki, from Chinese Jinling Shipyard.

Image Courtesy: ESL Shipping

Featuring a length of 160 meters, the 25,600 dwt newbuilding emits over 50 percent less carbon dioxide than the previous generation of vessels, according to the company.

In late August, ESL Shipping, part of Aspo Group, accepted delivery of Viikki’s sister ship Haaga.

“Viikki and Haaga significantly reduce emissions from our customers’ transportation chains, and this new vessel category increases the flexibility of deliveries. We are proud that this innovative and energy-efficient vessel sails under the Finnish flag,” Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director of ESL Shipping, commented.

Like Haaga, Viikki will first sail from the shipyard to Japan, from where it will arrive fully laden to the Baltic Sea at the end of October.

Image Courtesy: ESL Shipping

The plan for both vessels is to travel to the Baltic Sea via the Northern Sea Route. This shortens the travel time by nearly three weeks compared to the route via the Panama Canal and, therefore, significantly reduces the environmental impact of the trip. The use of the Northern Sea Route reduces emissions by more than 40 percent compared with going through the Panama Canal, as explained by ESL Shipping.

“Their passage via the Northern Sea Route is a concrete indication of the impact of climate change – but also of new business opportunities. Only a handful of merchant vessels traveling the world’s seas are ice-strengthened. All 50 ESL Shipping vessels are heavily ice-strengthened,” Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping, said.

This newbuilding project is part of the Bothnia Bulk project, partly funded by the EU. Its goal is to modernize the sea route between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe to be more eco-friendly.

In addition, environmental emissions are expected to decrease at ports with the improved availability of shore-side electricity.