UECC launches 1st battery hybrid LNG-powered PCTC
United European Car Carriers (UECC), a Norway-based provider of shortsea RoRo transportation, has launched its first battery hybrid LNG-powered pure car and truck carrier (PCTC).
The milestone was marked on Monday, April 12. The newbuild was set to be moved from shore to the floating dock and then taken to the dredged area for docking out.
UECC said that the vessel would be fully afloat later this week.
“With the launch of our first LNG battery hybrid PCTC, we are ushering in a new era for UECC and short sea shipping in Europe,” says Glenn Edvardsen, CEO of UECC.
“These ships prove that decarbonization of the industry is possible using currently available technologies.”
The ship was ordered back in 2019 from China Ship Building Trading and Jiangnan Shipyard Group. The yard is building three hybrid LNG PCTCs for the company, with the remaining two newbuilds set for delivery in 2022.
The vessels will have a length overall of 169 meters, a width of 28 meters and a car carrying capacity of 3,600 units on 10 cargo decks, of which 2 decks are hoistable.
Battery power on the new vessels is expected to improve operational efficiency and further reduce emissions through peak shaving. It will also provide an option for reducing emissions while in port.
The ships are also equipped with dual-fuel LNG engines for main propulsion and auxiliaries.
Once delivered, they will meet the IMO Tier 3 NOx emissions limitations in force in the Baltic and North Sea.
UECC said that welcoming these vessels into the fleet will place the company beyond IMO’s target for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030.
The delivery of the newbuilds will bring UECC’s dual-fuel LNG-powered fleet to five ships.
As more biofuels are set to become commercially available in the future, UECC plans to increase the proportion of carbon neutral and synthetic fuels in their future fuel mix.
Edvardsen believes the industry needs to act now and look at the best available solutions instead of waiting for the optimal solution.
Speaking recently on the company’s decarbonization pathway, he said the company was aware that ‘LNG would not be the ultimate future fuel, but it is the best available option now.‘
The same pragmatic thinking applies to the batteries on their new ships.
“They will not be for pure propulsion, but they will allow us to take the next step, to squeeze even more transport out of the fuel we burn and reduce emissions even further,” he pointed out.