European short-sea operator DFDS has finalised an investment of €134m ($148m) in two new ro-ro vessels it says will meet the growing demands of its freight customers, increase operational efficiency and reduce its environmental impact.
The vessels were designed by Danish company Knud E Hansen and will be built at China’s Jinling Shipyard for delivery at the beginning of 2019. They will be deployed on DFDS’s North Sea network.
Each vessel will provide 6,700 lane-metres of freight and will carry containers, trailer and finished vehicle volumes. DFDS said the larger vessels’ size (243 metres x 33 metres) would significantly decrease unit costs and lessen the environmental impact of each transported unit.
The vessels are equipped with sulphur abatement equipment – or scrubbers – to meet the requirements of shipping in the North Sea, which falls within one of the Europe Union’s sulphur emission control areas (SECAs). The sulphur content of the bunker used to fuel vessels is restricted to 0.1% in coastal regions of the North Sea, Baltic and English Channel.
The new vessels will also feature the latest ballast water treatment systems and will comply with the latest environmental rules according to the new IMO-standard EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index).
DFDS has an option to commission four more vessels of the same kind.
The company is also committed to investing €100m in retrofitting its existing fleet with abatement equipment in a move made ahead of the SECA rules, which came in at the beginning of 2015.