World’s 1st dual-fuel LNG battery hybrid PCTC named

Norwegian provider of shortsea RoRo transportation United European Car Carriers (UECC) has held a naming ceremony for its first dual-fuel LNG battery hybrid pure car and truck carrier (PCTC).

As informed, the naming ceremony for the vessel Auto Advance took place at the Port of Zeebrugge – ICO Bastenaken Terminal on 26 October.

PCTC
Auto Advance; Photo: UECC

The 169-meter-long ship was built by Chinese Jiangnan Shipyard and delivered in November last year. It has already been trading in North European waters for the past year following the delivery.

The newbuild, said to be the world’s first of its type, is set to provide significant gains in energy efficiency and emissions reduction as it enters service this year to boost UECC’s efforts to decarbonise its fleet.

UECC’s newbuild trio of multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid PCTCs “will make a real difference for the environment and for business” as new green regulations are set to shift the market playing field, CEO Glenn Edvardsen said at the naming ceremony.

“UECC’s owners and board of directors had done just that more than a decade ago by making bold investments in newbuilds and alternative low-carbon fuels to drastically reduce the company’s emissions profile,” Edvardsen stressed.

“Growing market demands for green operations and new environmental regulations will radically change the way we do business in future.”

Simultaneously, the company christened the third vessel in a series of three new PCTCs, Auto Aspire, which was delivered a week ago.

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Auto Advance and its sister ships are the first vessels of their kind to be brought into operation, combining a multi-fuel LNG engine with a hybrid battery solution and smart energy management system in a configuration designed for reduced fuel consumption and energy efficiency. They have been developed in cooperation with the companies Wallenius Marine and NYK.

The deliveries of the three newbuilds over the past year have proven timely given the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) CII and EEXI/EEDI regulations to cut the carbon intensity of both new and existing vessels are due to kick in from 1 January 2023.

All three PCTCs already exceed the IMO requirement for a 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 which is the purpose of these regulations, according to the company.

Edvardsen believes these regulations will shift the market playing field in favour of environment-focused operators amid increasing demands from cargo owners and charterers for a more sustainable logistics chain

Furthermore, the cost of running ships on conventional marine fuels in Europe is set to increase with the removal of a tax exemption on bunker suppliers in the EEA from next year under the Energy Taxation Directive.

Pollutive ships will also be increasingly penalised with the expected extension of the EU’s Emissions Trading System to shipping from 2024, which could add as much as 50% to the cost of fossil fuel consumption, based on recent carbon pricing, due to the need to buy emissions allowances, according to UECC.

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Edvardsen stated that LNG is currently the most environment-friendly fuel available, with an estimated reduction of 25% in CO2 emissions, and the PCTCs’ engine is also adaptable for future low-carbon fuels such as bio-LNG as these become available.

“With new IMO carbon intensity regulations just around the corner and the looming prospect of higher costs for using conventional marine fuel, we are convinced that our timely investments in these newbuilds will make a real difference for the environment and for business. That is called sustainability progress,” he concluded.