Spliethoff to order seven LNG-powered vessels for new UPM deal

Spliethoff has signed a long-term charter agreement with bioproducts manufacturer UPM to design and build seven LNG-powered vessels, which will be chartered through Spliethoff’s affiliate shipping companies Bore and Wijnne Barends. The vessels will provide sustainable transportation for UPM in Europe.

Finnish Bore will build three vessels with ro/ro and lift capabilities to transport UPM’s paper products and Dutch Wijnne Barends four lift-on/lift-off vessels to transport the company’s pulp and other forest products. All seven vessels will be built in China and are scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. The vessels are time chartered by UPM and will be fully operated by the company’s logistics division.

“This arrangement is a consistent step in UPM’s logistics strategy. It will safeguard a sustainable, competitive and reliable shipping solution for our businesses and customers in the long term,” says Lauri Rikala, Director of Global Break Bulk Shipping at UPM Logistics.

“The vessels will be fueled with liquid natural gas (LNG) which results in a significant (approximately 25%) reduction of CO2 emissions compared with commonly used marine gas oil. In addition, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions will decrease by approximately 85% and 99%, respectively. The emissions of soot particles will also decrease by 99%,” he adds.

The use of LNG is somewhat surprising as Spliethoff has been an active advocate of scrubber systems ahead of the IMO 2020 regulations. In this case, however, the company seems to be fulfilling the wishes of its customer.

“Since the establishment of Spliethoff in1921, the company has been transporting forest products for our clients – it’s in our DNA”, says Spliethoff CCO Michael van den Heuvel. “We are very pleased to be able to offer UPM these next-generation sustainable vessels. Minimising our environmental footprint has long been a focal point for the Spliethoff Group and the reduction of emissions is a fundamental part of this. The new vessels running on LNG fit well in our continuous drive for greener operations.”

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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