A new agreement between two Finnish companies, stainless steel producer Outokumpu and its long-term transport partner Langh Ship, underscores the growing importance of cutting vessel CO2 emissions as shippers look to decrease the carbon footprint of their supply chains.
Under the agreement, Langh will replace the current three cargo vessels chartered in from it by Outokumpu with new ships. They are designed to meet the steel producer’s own ambitious sustainability targets as well as upcoming environmental regulation.
The ships transport coils from the company’s mill in Tornio, Finland to its European hub in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. They return back to Tornio loaded with recycled steel, Outokumpu’s main raw material. The first new ship will be taken into use in 2023.
“The route between Tornio and Terneuzen is of utmost importance to us in transporting coils to the European market and in bringing recycled steel to our melt shop in Tornio,” says Jyrki Sandelin, category manager for transports at Outokumpu. “With these three new vessels, we can reduce the CO2 emissions by 40% compared to the previous vessels.”
Langh Ship says the newbuildings will be delivered by the Wuhu shipyard in China. Designed for all-year traffic in the northern Gulf of Bothnia they will be built to ice class 1A and will have a deadweight of 7,800 tons.
The design has been developed by Langh Ship in collaboration with Outokumpu and the Chinese ship designer Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI).
The newbuildings will be specially equipped for shipping steel but as multipurpose vessels are fit for many cargo types to serve Outokumpu’s needs. The main product, stainless steel coils will have a secure ride with Langh Ship’s patented pontoon-type coil cradle tweendeck. By loading coils both on the bottom of the hold and on the tweendeck, the weight is distributed in a way that reduces the ship’s motions in heavy seas.
When loading other goods, the tweendecks are stowed in a smaller cargo hold releasing the main cargo hold for bulk cargo or containers. The hold is box-shaped and equipped with adjustable bulkheads to create optimal hold sizes for other cargo as well as the dimensions are optimized for containers.
Heavy steel containers especially developed by Langh Cargo Solutions can be carried on the hatch covers. The starting point for designing the cargo solutions has been to maximize the utilization of the cargo capacity. This will both further reduce overall transportation emissions and be as cost efficient as possible.
”Thanks to the energy-efficient hull shape, these vessels have a lower engine power than the current vessels. Despite that they can load more cargo and keep the same service speed,” says Laura Langh-Lagerlöf, managing director, Langh Ship.
The newbuildings will be equipped with a dual fuel main engine with an output of 4,500 kW. In the future, the vessels can be converted to run with various fossil-free fuels. Initially they will operate on liquefied natural gas, LNG which can be directly replaced by liquefied biogas (LBG). The ship’s LNG tank is both methanol and ammonia ready. Additionally the vessels are prepared for the installation of shoreside power, which would make them emission-free during port calls, with space also reserved for the installation of batteries to enable future hybrid operation;