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Siem Car Carriers has received its first deep ocean LNG-powered car carrier Siem Confucius, which will be used for transporting VW volumes between Europe and North America.  The vessel was delivered by Singapore-based leasing firm Seven Yield. A second vessel – Siem Aristotle – is to follow. 

Each LNG vessel is 200 metres long, with 13 decks and a capacity of 7,500 car-equivalent units (CEU).

VW expects the carriers’ working capacity will be 4,700 cars. The pioneering ships were built at Xiamen shipyard in China and launched last November.

Their impending deployment is being hailed the first use LNG as a fuel for deep-sea car transport. To date LNG-powered car-carrying vessels have plied short-sea routes.

Siem Confucius and Siem Aristotle replace two of nine conventional heavy oil-powered ships on VW’s trans-Atlantic route and form part of the German OEM efforts to achieve climate-neutral logistics in long-distance shipment of vehicles.

A comprehensive LNG bunkering fuel supply agreement has been signed with natural resource company Shell to guarantee all voyages will utilise only LNG fuel, said Seven Yield.

Compared to conventional fuel, LNG reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60% and sulphur oxide emissions by up to 100%, the leasing company added.

The financial arrangements for the deal with VW also marked the first green loan arranged by a commercial bank, Crédit Agricole of France, said Seven Yield.