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Largest LNG-powered car carrier of the world sails for North America

Largest LNG-powered car carrier of the world sails for North America

The world's first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered car carrier sailed from Europe to North and Central America on its maiden voyage for the Volkswagen Group on June 16.

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The Siem Confucius, loaded with over 4,800 vehicles, sailed for Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico from Emden, Germany.

In March 2020, before departing from Xiamen, China on March 14, the Siem Confucius was delivered to its operators, Siem Car Car Carriers, bound for Germany where it enters service under an exclusive charter to Volkswagen Group Logistics. The group, as a corporation, manages about 7,700 ship departures worldwide, with about 2.8 million new cars each year.

"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," said Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics. 

The vessel is 200 meters long, with a maximum draft of 10 metres, 38 meters deep. It has a sailing velocity of up to 19 nautical knots but travels 16.5 knots in eco-speed mode. The 13 car decks have a total capacity of 7,500 CEU (Car Equivalent Units), which corresponds to about 4,800 vehicles from passenger cars to light commercial vehicles in the Volkswagen Group's model mix.

By 2025, the company aims to reduce its total net CO2 emissions by 30 per cent and be CO2-neutral by 2050 under Volkswagen 's environmental mission statement "goTOzero." To achieve this, all transports - by water, road, and rail - must be climate friendly.

The company estimates that the LNG drive will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30%, soot particulate matter by up to 60%, and sulfur oxide emissions by up to 100%.

Maritime Business World 

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