VW launches car freighters powered by LNG in China

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Volkswagen Group Logistics has become the first company to use car freighters powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in overseas traffic. The two charter ships of Siem Car Carriers were launched last Friday in Xiamen, China.

The ships – named Siem Confucius and Siem Aristotle – will replace two of the nine conventional heavy oil-powered cargo ships currently used by Group Logistics on the Atlantic between Europe and North America. The Siem Confucius will be integrated into this service from January 2020 after its transfer from Asia to Europe. The second ship will start operations in spring 2020 in the same area.

The LNG engines reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60% and sulphur oxide emissions by up to 100% per ship.

“We are entering a new field here to reduce emissions,” said Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics. “Both ships are the first overseas car freighters in the world to be LNG-powered. In addition to the increasing use of LNG trucks, conversion of our many rail transports to green electricity and the use of biofuel in the short sea segment, the two new LNG ships represent an important building block for our strategic goal of climate-neutral logistics.”

The Volkswagen Group Logistics organises, coordinates and accounts for around 7,700 ship departures worldwide each year. Several hundred liner ships and 11 car freighter charter ships sail the world’s oceans for the Group each day. Every year they ship 2.8 million new cars. In addition, there are 250,000 container loads on ships carrying construction and spare parts.

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With almost two-decades experience in consumer magazines, Wesley recently moved to B2B publishing and now edits a number of titles for UKi Media & Events, including Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International.

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