A joint venture has been announced between Mercuria and ÈTA Shipping to accelerate the transition toward sustainable short-sea shipping. Initially, six highly efficient ÈTA 6700 vessels will be built (and 10 optional) by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering, with the first vessel’s maiden voyage scheduled for Q2 of 2025.
With a view to changing how cargo vessels are designed and built, ÈTA Shipping’s ÈTA 6700 boats have a modular design and no main engine, and use electric motors to provide power to the propellor. Onboard generators capable of running on traditional or low-carbon fuels deliver the required power. Designed to be flexible and to increase sustainability, any power source can be used, including batteries or fuel cells running on hydrogen, methanol or ammonia. Zero-emission solutions can also be installed in place of the generators.
“The modular design of the vessels allows for an easy replacement of a power source, which can be anything as long as it produces electricity”, explained Sam Gombra, co-founder, ÈTA Shipping. “We estimate that it will take less than a day to remove the existing power generation system and replace it, fully or partially, without the need for a shipyard.”
With a cargo carrying capacity of 7,400 ton deadweight and a gross tonnage just under 5,000, the ÈTA 6700 is capable of reaching 10.5kts when fully laden at 900kW of power.
“Three features make these vessels truly unique: futureproof design, efficiency, and automation. Designed with the efficiency in mind, ÈTA vessels are already 30% more efficient than a conventional new-build and about 50% more efficient than the average ship in the legacy fleet,” said Mindaugas Gogelis, Energy Transition Director of Mercuria.
“The embedded flexibility in ÈTA 6700 design will allow us to offer a tailored decarbonization pathway optimized to the specific needs of cargo owner or operator,” said Larry Johnson, global head of freight and shipping trading, Mercuria. “We can go as fast as technical solutions become commercially available.”