First Hanse Eco class vessel heads to Europe
Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest, a joint venture between Rhenus and Arkon Shipping is continuing to beef up its shortsea fleet with the addition of a new Hanse Eco class vessel, the Wilson Flex I. It is the first of a new class of coastal vessels operated by the joint venture and it has already started its voyage from China to Europe.
The joint venture between Rhenus and Arkon Shipping has developed five vessels in all. Thanks to their newly designed and optimised hull shape, they save about 20 percent in fuel compared to traditional ships. The carbon dioxide and particulate matter emissions are significantly lower too.
The Hanse Eco class vessels are also equipped with support from an electric motor and a waste gas treatment unit. As a result, they already meet the IMO Tier III emissions standard, which will be compulsory for new vessels from 2025 onwards.
The optimised design of the coastal vessels achieves several benefits, including the possibility of travelling “open top” without any hatch covers. The end-to-end deck also makes it possible to transport large quantities of particularly bulky goods. The arrangement at the front guarantees that the bridge still has an unobstructed view, even when the deck is being loaded.
Ralf Uebachs, the managing director of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest, says, “Our new Hanse Eco ships represent a milestone when it comes to sustainability. They have extremely modern equipment and have been conceived with a completely new, forward-looking design. We are therefore starting a new chapter in ecological short-sea shipping.”
The Wilson Flex I is almost 90 metres long and has a total payload capacity of up to 4,200 tonnes. It is now on its way in China as the first of five identical vessels to the port of loading where it will take on board its basic cargo. The next stop is the port of Yeosu in South Korea, where a European crew will go on board and steer the vessel to Europe. Once it arrives, it will be handed over to the Norwegian shipping company, Wilson ASA, for long-term service. It is expected to arrive there in about one-and-a-half months from now.
The new ships will operate on all the Europe short-sea traffic routes – ranging from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea and even the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Following the first ship, another completed vessel will now set off from China every six to eight weeks.