ESL Names First LNG-Fueled Bulker Newbuild

Image Courtesy: ESL Shipping

Helsinki-based shipping company ESL Shipping, a member of the Aspo Group, has christened its new LNG-powered dry cargo vessel at the Jinling shipyard in Nanjing, China. 

As informed, the first of the two ordered vessels was christened Viikki in line with the shipping company’s tradition to name its ships for places in Helsinki.

“We are proud to reduce the carbon footprint of our shipping company with these innovative vessels. These new vessels are a significant step towards even greener shipping,” Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping, commented.

The 26,000 dwt ship produces more than 50 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than vessels of the previous generation, as explained by the company.

Viikki, which features a length of 160 meters and a width of 26 meters, will start operating in the Baltic Sea during the first half of 2018, according to ESL.

The construction of Viikki’s sister vessel is also proceeding on schedule and the bulker is expected to be christened in September, the firm said.

ESL revealed in late 2015 that the ships will be used to implement the agreement between ESL and SSAB, a steel company, covering SSAB’s inbound raw material sea transports within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The aggregated sea transport volume covered by the agreement is estimated to be 6–7 million tons annually.

“SSAB assumes responsibility for sustainable oceans by such means as our work to minimize carbon dioxide emissions from our production and our transport operations,” Thomas Hörnfeldt, SSAB’s VP Sustainability & Public Affairsnoted.

The construction project is part of the Bothnia Bulk project, co-funded partly by the EU. Its objective is to modernize the sea route between Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe to be more eco-friendly.

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