Close on the heels of their call for two new battery hybrid LNG PCTCs, UECC has confirmed an option with China Ship Building Trading Co., Ltd and Jiangnan Shipyard Group Co. Ltd. for a third battery hybrid LNG vessel, this time slated for UECC’s Atlantic short sea trade.

“This order is another step in our commitment to cleaner shipping,” says Glenn Edvardsen, CEO of UECC. “Our experience with LNG duel-fuel vessels has been good, and we want to keep moving forward to expand our sustainable fleet.” 

Already winners, UECC’s two first ECO-class vessels grabbed first and second place in Bremenports’ Greenports Award 2018 for being cleanest ships calling at one of Europe's busiest ports. With the addition of battery hybrid technology, the three new ships raise the environmental protection bar even further. 

Taking smart new steps

The new orders will push the UECC duel-fuel LNG fleet to five vessels. “When our third battery hybrid LNG PCTC is delivered in 2022, it ushers in a new era for UECC and short sea shipping in Europe,” says Edvardsen. “That will give us a total of five eco-friendly vessels in our fleet.  This represents more than 50% of the UECC owned fleet, and no other short sea company, or deep sea for that matter, can demonstrate such a sustainable fleet.” 

Edvardsen acknowledges the importance of experience in the decision to invest in battery hybrid LNG. “A ship is a significant and long-term investment. We wanted to expand the use of new technologies to meet or exceed future sustainability requirements, and we feel our choice with the first two LNG vessels has been justified over nearly three years of operation. This experience gives us the confidence to move forward with even more eco-friendly technologies.” 

The new battery-hybrid solution will take UECC beyond the IMO target of 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030. The three vessels will also meet the IMO Tier 3 NOx emissions limitations entering into force in the Baltic and North Sea from 2021 keel lays. 

Electric power saves fuel, reduces emissions

“Batteries are a key step toward next generation sustainability,” Edvardsen observes. Battery power on the new vessels will improve operational efficiency and further reduce emissions through peak shaving, in addition to handling partial accommodation load and driving auxiliary equipment. “It also provides an option for reducing emissions while in port, and that is becoming more important for many cities,” he notes.

“UECC’s parent companies, NYK and Wallenius Lines, have sustainability in their DNA,” Glenn Edvardsen concludes. “It is an honor to be able to take UECC to the next level of clean shipping with their support.”

For more information contact:
Bjorn O. Gran Svenningsen, Director Sales & Marketing, UECC

NYK has placed an order for the world's largest pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) capable of navigating oceans with only LNG as the main fuel. A keel laying ceremony was held on September 20 at Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and NYK managing corporate officer Takaya Soga and other related parties were in attendance. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and will be the first large LNG-fueled PCTC to be built in Japan.

To minimize a reduction in vehicle loading capacity caused by the installation of LNG fuel tanks, in addition to optimizing major items such as ship width, several designs for maximizing the cargo loading space will be implemented, and the new vessel will be able to transport approximately 7,000 units (standard vehicle equivalent) per voyage.

With the support by Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for its model project to reduce CO2 emissions by using alternative fuel, the vessel will be installed with the technology to reduce further CO2 emissions and the experimental verification in its actual voyage will be scheduled. The ship will be about 40% more energy efficient (reducing CO2 emissions per unit of transport), far exceeding the International Maritime Organization (IMO) EEDI phase 3 requirements* that will become effective in 2025. The vessel is additionally expected to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by approximately 99% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by approximately 86% compared to conventional heavy oil–fired engines.

Air pollution by ship exhaust gas has become an important challenge, and environmental regulations surrounding the shipping industry are being strengthened year by year as environmental awareness increases. LNG fuel can be expected to significantly reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases compared to C heavy oil, which is a common marine fuel, and thus meet the SOx Global Cap regulations set by the IMO, scheduled to become effective in January 2020.**

From an early stage, the NYK Group has been steadily moving toward using LNG as a propulsion fuel. In fact, in 2016 the group built the world's first LNG-fueled car carrier. That ship entered into service in 2017, and just last year the company began issuing green bonds*** to finance LNG-fueled ships and LNG bunkering vessels, among other green financing projects.

NYK will continue to actively work to reduce its environmental burden and realize a sustainable society, as designated in the company’s medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green.”

During the keel laying ceremony, second from left; Takaya Soga, managing corporate officer of NYK

- Vessel Particulars

Length overall about 199.95 meters
Breadth about 38.0 meters
Total car capacity 7,000 units
Gross tonnage 73,500 tons
Flag Japan

* EEDI requirements

Regulations on the energy efficiency of ships based on the 2013 revision of the International Convention on the Prevention of Ship Pollution 1997 Protocol (Appendix VI to the MARPOL Convention). EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) is the number of grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) required to carry 1 ton of cargo for 1 mile, and the reduction rate from the baseline (baseline) will be gradually enhanced. Car carriers are required to implement reductions of 5% by 2015 (Phase 1), 15% by 2020 (Phase 2), and 30% by 2025 (Phase 3).

** SOx Global Cap regulations

SOx emission regulations based on the 2008 amendment of the 1997 Protocol on Ship Pollution Prevention (Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention). From January 1, 2020, the allowable limit of sulfur in ship fuel oil will be reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%.

*** Green bonds

Corporate bonds in which the proceeds are used solely for the purpose of funding environment-friendly projects.

- The NYK Group is dedicated to achieving the SDGs through its business activities, and this low carbonization of marine fuel is one of the group’s initiatives.

Earlier this month NYK RORO loaded one of their biggest ever industrial project cargoes from Bremerhaven, Germany to Port Hueneme, California for the Liebherr Group.

With weekly sailings ex Europe and a sharp transit time, NYK's new Round the World service to Port Hueneme, Long Beach and Tacoma was able to provide the perfect service & frequency. 

“Normally every industrial project includes one difficult piece but the Liebherr Harbour Crane, with impressive dimensions of 30 metres long and nearly 5 metres high, stretched the limits to the maximum'' says Matthias Auch, Project Co-Ordinator / NYK Line Hamburg.

To overcome the given obstacles NYK nominated the PCTC vessel MV Cassiopeia Leader due to her significant ramp strength (150 tonnes) and impressive deck height (6.30 metres).

The majority of the crane was suitably placed on roll trailers, except for the heart of the crane (measuring 20m long by 6.15m wide) where NYK  joined forces with Heavy Lift Specialist 'Mammoet Germany'. Several technical meetings also took place in the Liebherr Factory in Rostock to evaluate the right equipment to use. In close co-operation a logistic set up could be developed to safely handle this impressive cargo.

 After four months of dedicated hard work, involving the worldwide NYK network and local partners in Germany such as BLG Logistics and Atlantik Hafenbetriebe Bremerhaven, this impressive harbour crane is finally on its way to the US West Coast.


On 8th September NYK Line became the first deep sea RORO carrier to call at Rostock, at the Liebherr MCCtec facility.

The Pure Car Truck Carrier vessel loaded around 30 Rolltrailers, destined for Off Shore Projects in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Shanghai. The cargo included impressive cargo height of up to 4.40m, as well as crane jibs with over 30 meter length.

NYK Germany accepted in close co-operation with the Liebherr Rostock transport & production team the logistics challenge to transfer equipment & knowledge to the port of Rostock. Therefore, already weeks before the actual loading, several pre meetings took place and the required equipment was transferred by truck from the NYK depot in Bremerhaven to the Liebherr factory.

Within the first week of September the stuffing of 28 x 40’ and 62’ trailers were successfully executed.

All involved are extremely proud about the clients trust and NYK are happy to have proposed a workable solution for both parties.


For the fifth consecutive year NYK RORO will have a stand at Break Bulk Europe, where we will showcase our ability to load a variety of high and heavy cargoes, as well as project cargo.

NYK representatives from various European offices, as well as NYK Head Office in Tokyo, will be in attendance and we look forward to receiving your enquiries during the exhibition. We will be happy to meet existing, and also potential new customers during the event, so please come and join us at Stand J70 and share some sushi with us !