Meriaura orders biofuel-powered cargo ship duo

Meriaura orders biofuel-powered cargo ship duo

April 15, 2024,

Naida Hakirevic Prevljak

Finnish shipping company Meriaura has ordered two biofuel-powered Ecotrader cargo ships from Dutch shipyard Royal Bodewes.

Courtesy of Meriaura

The 6,750 dwt ships are planned for delivery in January and December 2026.

Featuring a length of 105 meters, the 1A ice-classed vessels are designed to achieve ‘the lowest possible’ emission levels, according to Meriaura.

Like the EcoCoaster vessels Eeva VG and Mirva VG delivered in 2016, the Ecotraders can be operated with biofuel made from recycled raw material produced by Meriaura’s subsidiary VG-Ecofuel.

As explained, the Ecotrader vessels are approximately 30 percent larger than the EcoCoasters. This is to meet the market and customer needs, and the larger vessel size also improves the economic efficiency and lightens the environmental burden of transport.

“This order is a continuum in our series of investments to energy-efficient tonnage that utilizes bio-oil. In the current geopolitical situation, we found it best to order the ships from an established shipyard operating in Western Europe. Building in Europe is also in line with our ESG strategy. Security of delivery and timing, quality and the yard’s ability to comply with safety and environmental regulations, and our good experience with the previous newbuildings were the most important factors in our decision to choose Royal Bodewes as our shipbuilder again,” Beppe Rosin, CEO of Meriaura, commented.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set the goal for carbon-neutral shipping by or around 2050. Meriaura’s climate strategy aims for carbon neutrality already in the 2030s.

“The two ships ordered now will start our newbuilding program that targets to carbon neutrality remarkably faster than IMO’s target. Our purpose is to systematically renew our fleet with a series of new buildings. The use of bio-oil combined with compensation enables us to reach this ambitious goal we have set,” Jussi Mälkiä, Meriaura’s founder and chairman, said.

The investment is financed by Oma Säästöpankki Turku, LähiTapiola Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö and Climate Fund.

“We are grateful that Finnish financiers have come along to support the journey of a local shipping company towards carbon neutral shipping,” Rosin added.

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