The third of three new-build multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels was delivered to UECC on October 20, 2022, following its construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard in China.
Named Auto Aspire, the 169m-long PCTC will join its sister vessels the Auto Advance and Auto Achieve on trade routes in Northern Europe. The new-build has been designed to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which can reduce emissions by approximately 25% compared with traditionally used fossil fuels. Furthermore, the vessels will make use of lower-carbon-intensity drop-in fuels including bio-LNG and synthetic LNG as they become available in the future.
The Auto Aspire also benefits from a hybrid battery solution that enables a further reduction in emissions through peak shaving and the use of battery power in ports to eliminate NOX and particulate matter emissions. Furthermore, a smart energy management system helps to reduce the amount of fuel used for increased energy efficiency.
A range of new rules and regulations are set to be implemented that will increase the cost of using traditional maritime fuels. These include the Energy Tax Directive, which will come into force on January 1, 2023, and will impose heavy taxes on fossil fuels that are supplied in the European Economic Area.
According to UECC’s energy and sustainability manager, Daniel Gent, the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) has proposed an extension that is scheduled to come into force in 2024. This will require operators on polluting vessels to purchase expensive carbon allowances, which could lead to the price of using fossil fuels on board ships increasing by up to 50% based on current carbon pricing.
Gent also stated that when Auto Aspire begins operations, the company will be on track to achieve the proposed FuelEU Maritime target for 2030 of a 6% annual reduction in carbon intensity. All of the new-builds comply with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index, which will come into force in 2023.
“This significant delivery marks the realization of our ambition conceived a decade ago to bring to the European short sea market a new breed of advanced low-carbon vessels able to deliver on demands for energy efficiency under a green shipping regime,” said Glenn Edvardsen, CEO of UECC. “This has been achieved through a process of innovation whereby a new technological solution has been developed together with Jiangnan’s in-house ship design team to give substantial gains in terms of emissions reductions.
“Imminent regulatory changes are shifting the market landscape in favor of green-focused players. These new-builds represent timely and sizeable investments that offer our clients a sustainable shipping solution with both environmental and cost benefits.”