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Volkswagen to charter two LNG fueled car carriers

Written by Nick Blenkey
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OCTOBER 6, 2016 —The Volkswagen Group says that from 2019 it will use two LNG fueled vessels chartered Siem Car Carriers AS for vehicle shipments between Europe and North America.

They will replace two of the nine conventionally fueled vessels currently used exclusively by the Volkswagen Group on a North Atlantic itinerary serving the markets of Canada, the USA, Mexico and Europe.

No word yet on who the shipbuilder will be.

The 200 m x 36 m vessels will 12 decks and a capacity of about 4,500 vehicles. Main propulsion will be by a 12,600 kW dual fuel MAN Diesel & Turbo two stroke engines with direct injection and exhaust gas after treatment. They will have a 3,000 cu.m LNG tank.

Service speed will be 16.5 knots in eco mode (max. 19 knots).

Volkswagen will be one of the first auto makers to opt for lower emission LNG-fueled vessels for the marine transport of vehicles. It says that the vessels will reduce emissions of CO2 by up to 25% and NOx by up to 30%, particulate matters by up to 60% and SOx by as much as 100%

The company is considering changeover of other conventionally powered vessels to LNG. 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,” said Wolfram Thomas, Head of Group Production, said: 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.”

Volkswagen already transports half of the vehicles it produces by sea and says it is continuously working on the optimization of its marine transport systems.

Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics, calls the chartered LNG fueled vessels on which a decision has already been taken “the first milestone.” He adds: “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.”

Volkswagen opted for the LNG fueled vessels after Siem Car Carriers AS submitted a proposal that was convincing in economic and environmental terms. .

“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,”, says Kenneth Ross CEO of Siem Car Carriers AS.

Volkswagen’s announcement comes within days of the delivery to European short sea operator United European Car Carriers (UECC) of the world’s first LNG-fueled Pure Car and Truck Carrier by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.’s NACKS shipyard in Nantong, China (see earlier story).

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