Photo: Rhenus-Arkon Shipinvest develops a new ecological short sea fleet: Picture source: RHAS GmbH

Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest Orders Short Sea Newbuild Fleet

Germany’s shipping company Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest (RHAS) has started to set up its own eco short sea fleet by placing orders for the company’s first four environmentally friendly vessels.

To be known as Hanse Eco Short Sea Coasters, the ships are expected to be delivered during the second half of 2021, with the construction work scheduled to begin in February 2020.

As informed, the Hanse Eco fleet is a result of an initiative launched by Torsten Westphal, one of the founding members of Arkon Shipping. The vessels are based on the latest developments related to environmental protection, digitalization and design.

Each of the Hanse Eco vessels will feature a length of about 90 meters and have a load-carrying capacity of 4,200 tons. The ships’ cargo hold will be able to accommodate more than 5,500 cubic meters of goods.

“Our ‘Hanse-Eco’ fleet is pointing the way forward so that we can meet climate protection requirements and also make sensible use of the mega trend of digitalisation. We’re providing a high standard for European shipping 2.0 – from the planning stage until the vessels are put into service,” Torsten Westphal, Managing Shareholder of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest, commented.

The newbuilds will have a number of optimized features such as the bridge at the front which provides a clear view during deck loading procedures and the innovative hull shape which reduces fuel consumption. An enlarged hold length also makes it possible to transport project loads as well as classic bulk and break bulk cargo.

According to the company, the ship will be suited to handle large-volume and bulky goods and will be able to serve new cargo segments with its “open-top” capability.

Alongside the water treatment systems, which will be mandatory from 2020 onwards, the eco-vessels will be equipped with a hybrid ship’s propulsion system with an organic catalytic converter, support from an electrical motor and a waste gas after-treatment unit. This will not only meet the stipulations in the future IMO Tier III exhaust gas standard, but also significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and particulate matter as well as fuel consumption. The main engine will also use organic fuel, RHAS said.

“An integrated automation system and using the latest camera technology simplify the operational processes on board and in ports and reduce the administrative work needing to be completed by captains,” Ralf Uebachs, Managing Director of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest, concluded.

Back in 2017, Germany’s logistics service company Rhenus Group took a shareholding in compatriot Arkon Shipping, establishing a joint investment firm, Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest. The JV aims to enable further expansion, flexibility and renewal of the European short sea Fleet with vessels ready for the digitalized new era of shipping.