The first of three Eco class ro-ro vessels was delivered to Finnlines at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) in China on April 28, 2022.
Named the Finneco I, the hybrid vessel is the first part of the company’s €500m (US$526m) new-building program. Concept planning began in 2018 with the target of creating the most environmentally friendly vessel to have ever operated in the Baltic Sea. The new-building program also includes two eco-sustainable Superstar ro-pax vessels set to be delivered in 2023.
The order for three ro-ro vessels was signed in May 2018 and construction of the first vessel began in June 2020. Construction of the other two ro-ro vessels is also progressing; Finneco II was launched in August 2021 and Finneco III in November 2021. All three of the hybrid ro-ro vessels are scheduled to enter service with Finnlines on routes in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and Biscay in June 2022.
Classification society RINA assigned the vessel with an additional Green Plus class notation to denote its environmental performance. The vessel is able to achieve zero emissions when in port due to a 5MW battery power bank – these are then recharged when sailing. A 600m2 solar panel array will also generate power on board. Two-stroke main engines and an air lubrication system under the keel help to reduce frictional and hydrodynamic resistance, in addition to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. An exhaust gas cleaning system also reduces the number of harmful pollutants entering the environment.
“We welcome Finneco I into our fleet,” said Emanuele Grimaldi, CEO, Finnlines. “The ship will be larger and more eco-friendly than any ro-ro vessel in the Baltic Sea. The vessel will play an important role in ensuring a reliable supply of goods to and from Finland and our connections to Europe will improve greatly. The innovative Eco-class vessels, which were also built at the Jinling Jiangsu shipyard and now operate under the Grimaldi Group flag, have been a great success.”