Rhenus and Arkon order eco-friendly multipurpose vessels

Rhenus and Arkon have ordered four eco-friendly multipurpose vessels with a deadweight of 4,200 tonnes each. The vessels will boast a hybrid propulsion system and are designed with an open-top notation opening up new cargo segments, the directors of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest say. 

The vessels are known as the Hanse Eco Short Sea Coasters and the result of an initiative launched by Torsten Westphal, who is one of the founding members of Arkon Shipping.

The 90-metre long ‘Hanse-Eco’ vessels will be powered by a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system which features an organic catalytic converter, support from an electrical motor and a waste gas after-treatment unit. This system does not only meet the IMO’s latest environmental regulation (IMO Tier III), which puts restrictions on sulfur and nitrogen emissions, but also reduces the output of carbon dioxide and particulate matter.

The vessels are designed to increase fuel efficiency through an improved hull design. The bridge will be at the front of the vessel to provide a clear view during deck loading procedures, while the enlarged and open-top cargo hold makes the vessels suitable for larger project cargoes.

Additionally, the ships will also be equipped with ballast water treatment systems, which will be mandatory from 2020 onwards, and be equipped with ‘an integrated automation system and the latest camera technology simplify the operational processes onboard and reduce the administrative work.’

“Our Hanse-Eco fleet is pointing the way forward so that we can meet climate protection requirements and make sensible use of the megatrend of digitalisation. We’re providing a high standard for European shipping 2.0 – from the planning stage until the vessels are put into service,” Torsten Westphal, managing shareholder of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest, says.

The vessels will be operated in the European shortsea sector and transport a variety of cargo ranging from classic bulk, breakbulk and project loads. Construction work is expected to start in February 2020 and the ships are due to be delivered during the second half of 2021.


Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest was established in March 2017, when Rhenus took a 40% interest in Arkon Shipping to enable further expansion of Arkon’s fleet.

“European shortsea shipping is part of the range of services provided by Rhenus. Arkon’s experience in forming shipping pools has made the company one of the market leaders in European short-sea shipping. We want to jointly consolidate this position,” Thomas Maassenof the Rhenus Port Logistics management team said at the time.

Rhenus now owns 40% Arkon Shipping, while shipping broker Torsten Westphal and the ship owners Herm and Stefan Jüngerhans and Gerd Wessels each have a 20% shareholding.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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