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First LNG-fueled Car Carrier Launched by Volkswagen

Carrying more than 4,800 vehicles, the first LNG powered car carrier, Siem Confucius, was deployed by the Volkswagen group on a transatlantic voyage.

On Tuesday 16th June 2020, the Siem Confucius set off on its three-week voyage to Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico, from Emden in Germany under an exclusive charter by Volkswagen Group Logistics.

“We are proud to put the world’s first LNG vehicle transporter of this size into service. This is an important part of our decarbonization strategy,” announced Thomas Zernechel, head of Volkswagen Group Logistics.

Compared to the use of conventional heavy fuel oil, the LNG drive is eco-friendlier and efficient in terms of power management. The drive reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30%, soot particles by up to 60%, and sulfur oxide emissions by up to 100%.

Aiming to keep up with the environmental mission statement ‘goTOzero’ by 2025, Volkswagen plans to reduce its total net C02 emissions by 30% and achieve CO2-neutral by 2050. For this to be accomplished, all means of transport – by water, road and rail – must be climate-friendly.

In line with Volkswagen’s commitment to its eco-friendly plans, Zernechel said, “We have to take action now because ships like the LNG freighter Siem Confucius and soon its sister ship Siem Aristotle will be in service for many years.”

The sister ships, Siem Aristotle and Siem Confucius, are 200 meters long, 38 meters wide, and have 13 car decks and a capacity of 7,500 ceu.

The ships are powered by 12,600 kW dual-fuel marine engines with direct injection and exhaust gas after-treatment from MAN Energy Solutions. The two tanks in each ship, each holding 1,800 cubic meters, are sufficient to cover the entire distance with the fuel stowed in Europe. In addition to LNG, the car carriers could also be operated with biogas or E-gas from regenerative sources.

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