Eco Catania

Grimaldi launches ‘green giants’ on the Venice-Bari-Patras line

Starting today the freight transport between Italy and Greece, the regular ro-ro line operated by the Grimaldi Group between Venice, Bari and Patras, will be served by two of the company’s “green giants”, the hybrid vessels Eco Catania and Eco Malta.

Image credit: Grimaldi

The Neapolitan shipping group, in synergy with the Port System Authorities of the Northern Adriatic Sea and of the Southern Adriatic Sea, as well as that of the Greek port of Patras, aims to enhance maritime intermodality between the two shores of the Adriatic. The duo will replace the “Eurocargo” class ships currently operating on the line.

Each of the two “GG5G”-class ships can carry some 7,800 linear metres of freight, equivalent to around 500 trailers and 180 cars – twice as much as the previous class of short sea ro-ro ships deployed by the Grimaldi Group.

However, Grimaldi claims that this greater capacity does not increase fuel consumption thanks to the adoption of numerous highly innovative technological solutions that optimize the vessels’ operational and environmental performance. At the same speed, Eco Catania and Eco Malta consume the same amount of fuel as the previous generation ro-ro ships, meaning they can effectively halve CO2 emissions per unit transported, the company said.

In addition, emissions are cut to zero during port operations: when they are at berth, Eco Catania and Eco Malta use the electricity stored in mega lithium batteries which are recharged during navigation thanks to shaft generators and 350 m2 of solar panels installed on board, thus reaching the “Zero Emission in Port®” target.

Having ships producing zero emission in port represents a key investment for the sustainable future of our seaports”, Ugo Patroni Griffi, President of the Port System Authority of the Southern Adriatic Sea, said.

In fact, in addition to guaranteeing zero emission impact on the territory, the introduction of two brand new Grimaldi ‘Eco’ vessels – replacing the four ‘Eurocargo’ ships which have been operating the line up to now – will exponentially increase the transport capacity of rolling freight from the port of Bari. Not only will this green evolution make us more competitive on the international market: it will also allow us to optimize the efficiency of port operations, reducing transit times and improving the overall productivity of the port. This is another decisive step forward in the process of transforming our ports into multipurpose, eco-sustainable hubs.”

According to Griffi, soon, this path will also be enhanced by the benefits offered by the cold ironing project, currently under approval.

The Ro/Ro sector, which grew by over 11% in 2022 – a trend that has continued also in the first half of 2023 – is central to the development of the port system in the Veneto region“, declared the Port System Authority of the Northern Adriatic Sea, Fulvio Lino Di Blasio.

For this reason, after the enhancement of the Grimaldi service registered last March, we welcome with enthusiasm the introduction of two latest-generation vessels on the Venice-Bari-Patras line. This excellent news demonstrates that sustainable development in the Veneto port system is already possible, and for at least two more reasons. The doubling of the capacity of the new ships compared to those previously operating will lead to a further increase in Ro/Ro traffic in the port of Venice, and the zero-emission electric mode during port stops will bring environmental benefit to the port system and, above all, to the areas surrounding the Fusina ferry terminal, which will be equipped for cold ironing in the near future.

The new ships – Eco Catania and Eco Malta – using advanced technological solutions in terms of halving the emissions of CO2, will enhance our port, offering one more tool to its transformation to a Sustainable-Green Port. The local community and the people living in the surrounding area of the port will welcome this new development. Furthermore, the increased capacity of the above mentioned Ro-Ro ships will optimize the efficiency and the productivity of our Port”, stated Panagiotis Tsonis, CEO of the Patras Port Authority.

 “With our highly efficient maritime services, the result of years of commitment and concrete investments and collaboration with the port authorities, we have built a solid bridge on the Adriatic ridge, from Venice to Bari, which runs up to the Greek shores of the Adriatic; a fundamental bridge on which hundreds of heavy vehicles travel every day, using the motorways of the sea rather than land roads”, said Grimaldi Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi.

Starting Monday, this bridge will become even “greener”, like the liveries of the hybrid ships Eco Catania and Eco Malta that we will deploy on our regular Venice-Bari-Patras maritime link. With our operations, we will further boost maritime intermodality and guarantee even more efficient transport services between Italy and Greece. Once again, the positive impact of our investments will extend beyond the boundaries of the shipping sector, generating more value and sustainability not only for our customers who operate in the transport of freight, but also for the communities gravitating around the ports served by our connections“.