UECC launches third LNG battery hybrid PCTC

UECC launches third LNG battery hybrid PCTC
UECC’s third newbuild dual-fuel battery hybrid PCTC set to be launched onto the water at Jiangnan Shipyard in China. Image source: Jiangnan Shipyard

UECC has launched the third and final newbuild in a series of advanced dual-fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) battery hybrid pure car truck carriers (PCTCs).

The final newbuild launch follows the recent delivery of the first newbuild named Auto Advance, with the second and third vessels set to be delivered in the first half of this year. The PCTCs are being rolled out at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard.

The use of battery hybrid technology, combined with a dual-fuel solution on the latest newbuilds will enable these vessels to exceed the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) goal to cut carbon intensity by 40 per cent within 2030 compared with 2008 levels.

Emissions of carbon dioxide will reportedly be reduced by around 25 per cent, SOx and particulate matter by 90 per cent and NOx by 85 per cent from the use of LNG, while the newbuilds will also meet the IMO’s Tier 3 NOx emissions limitations for the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

UECC has also experimented with low-carbon fuels such as biofuel on its existing PCTC Autosky that has resulted in a 58 per cent reduction in carbon intensity over a 12-month period.

The European shortsea ro-ro carrier is also looking to extend the use of the fuel to other vessels based on possible trial cargoes backed by customers, according to energy and sustainability manager Daniel Gent.

“We are rapidly building up our low-emission fleet to become the leading eco-friendly shortsea carrier in Europe through the addition of these newbuilds that will, alongside the use of alternative fuels on our existing vessels, drastically reduce UECC’s environmental footprint,” said chief executive Glenn Edvardsen.

“The first of these ground-breaking newbuilds is already in commercial operation and UECC’s ambition to take our fleet to the next level of environmental performance by mid-2022 remains firmly on track thanks to the yard’s adaptability, expertise and productivity.”

The second of the newbuilds is now in the final stages of construction after being launched at the yard last summer and, when all three are delivered, UECC will have a total of five eco-friendly PCTCs out of its owned fleet of nine vessels – also including two dual-fuel LNG units that have been in operation for the past five years.

With the addition of the newbuilds, UECC will have 80 per cent of its total lifting capacity meeting or exceeding the IMO target already this year as it aims to achieve an annual cut of 34,500 tonnes in CO2 emissions by 2025, compared with 18,700 tonnes in 2020 and 277 tonnes in 2016.

“We are taking advantage of available dual-fuel and hybrid technology with these newbuilds while proactively adopting existing low-carbon fuels on our operational vessels to make a difference for the environment right now,” said Edvardsen.

“With the likely implementation of the EU’s Emissions Trading System for shipping from 2023, we believe these efforts will also represent a competitive advantage for UECC going forward amid increasing demands from customers, regulators and financial institutions for green operations.”