Volkswagen Group opts for LNG-fueled car carriers
06 October 2016
From 2019, Volkswagen Group Logistics will use two LNG-powered charter vessels from Siem Car Carriers AS, making it one of the first automakers to opt for low-emission LNG-powered vessels for the marine transport of vehicles. The two ships, with a length of 200 m and a capacity of about 4,500 vehicles, are to be used for vehicle shipment between Europe and North America. The use of LNG-powered roll on/roll off (RORO) car carriers on other routes is currently being considered.
Alternative LNG drive systems for ships reduce air pollutant emissions significantly—CO2 by up to 25% and NOx by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60% and SOx by as much as 100%. Emissions will be further reduced by the use of an advanced dual-fuel marine engine with direct injection and exhaust gas treatment.
Volkswagen is considering the changeover of other conventionally powered freighters to LNG drive systems. In addition, the Group intends to transfer vehicle and material transport in Europe increasingly from trucks to lower-emission means of transport such as ships in the future.
The Volkswagen Group is shouldering its responsibility for the environment. This not only applies to our cars but also to our production and logistics. We are pooling all our efforts to improve environmental compatibility in Logistics under the term Green Logistics. By commissioning the two LNG-powered freighters for the route between Europe and North America, Volkswagen Group Logistics is forging ahead with environmentally compatible, resource-efficient transport.—Wolfram Thomas, Head of Group Production
The car carriers, equipped with a 3,000 m³ LNG tank installed below deck, will have a comparable capacity to conventional transatlantic freighters. Both ships will feature a 12,600 kW engine developed by MAN Diesel & Turbo.
Compared with other means of transport, marine shipping is one of the most efficient possibilities. Volkswagen Group Logistics already transports half of the vehicles produced by sea. We are continuously working on the optimization of our marine transport systems. The chartered vessels on which a decision has already been taken are the first milestone. The possibility of changing other vehicle transport vessels chartered by Volkswagen over to LNG operation will depend on the availability of the necessary infrastructure. Apart from LNG as an alternative fuel, we are also working on other projects which will continuously make our logistics processes more environmentally compatible.—Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics
Shipper Siem Car Carriers AS, which submitted a proposal that was convincing in economic and environmental terms. The two LNG ships will replace two of nine conventional freighters in the Siem fleet powered by heavy fuel oil from 2019 onwards. These are used exclusively for the Volkswagen Group in a round trip scheme across the North Atlantic serving the markets of Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.
We are pleased to have taken on board a partner in Volkswagen Group Logistics with whom we can pursue this innovative, future-oriented approach to roll-on/roll-of transport for the first time. The use of LNG-powered car carriers not only makes marine transport of this type more environmentally compatible but will also make the entire operation significantly more efficient in the long term.—Kenneth Ross CEO of Siem Car Carriers AS
The Volkswagen Group already joined the Clean Shipping Network at the beginning of 2014 and was the first German automaker to use this index for assessing the environmental impact of marine transport. Apart from chemicals and waste disposal, the assessment criteria also include emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate emissions and sulfur oxides.
The Volkswagen Group is working steadily on alternative, environmentally compatible transport possibilities, not only for vehicle logistics, but also for material logistics. Since the end of 2015, material from Turkey for the Autoeuropa plant in Portugal has been shipped from Izmir to Lisbon by sea. The transfer from road haulage to marine transport on this route cuts annual CO2 emissions by 240 tons. At the same time, the cost to the company is reduced.
By bundling consignments in an intelligent way, we can use means of transport such as ships and railways, which conserve resources, instead of trucks and further improve the environmental compatibility of our vehicle and material logistics.—Thomas Zernechel
UECC dual-fuel LNG PCTC. Separately, United European Car Carriers (UECC), jointly owned by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Wallenius Lines, had signed a contract to construct two dual fuel LNG Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTCs) with 1A Super Finnish/Swedish ice class. The first LNG dual fuel PCTC vessel was delivered to UECC at the end of September.
At 181 meters, with a 30 meter beam, TBN AUTO ECO is the largest dual-fuel PCTC in the world, and the biggest ever PCTC with 1A super Finnish/Swedish ice class. She is capable of running on LNG fuel or heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil, combining cleaner operations with greater flexibility and efficiency. One of the most technically advanced PCTCs ever built, TBN AUTO ECO is able to complete a fourteen day round voyage in the Baltic using solely LNG fuel.
With a capacity of approximately 4000 RT42 car units, including 6000 m2 of high and heavy cargo, TBN AUTO ECO has the capability to load cargo on 10 decks with a maximum cargo weight of 160MT.