Xiamen (China) - The Volkswagen Group has held the naming ceremony for two ships that will sail with LNG. They have been built on behalf of the shipping company Siem Car Carriers AS. The first of the two new car carriers – following their transfer from Asia to Europe – will be deployed on the so-called America Round Tour from January 2020, from Emden to Mexico via several ports on the east coast of the USA. From there it will return via the US east coast to Emden. The second ship will start its first major voyage along the 12,000 nautical mile route in spring 2020.
The two ships have a capacity of 1,800 cubic meters each and are each 200 meters long and 38 meters wide. This makes them exactly as long, but almost six meters wider, than the car carriers previously in service, which only have a width of 32.5 meters. This is due to the space requirements of the liquid gas tanks. In order to maintain the same freight capacity as conventional vessels (around 4,700 new Volkswagen cars), the ships were built wider. They each have 13 car decks, four of which are height-adjustable. The car carriers operate at an average speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h) at eco-speed mode and a maximum speed of 19 knots (35.2 km/h). They are powered by a 12,600 kW engine developed by MAN Energy Solutions.
Volkswagen had already commissioned the new construction in 2015. The shipping company Siem Car Carriers AS then proved to be a competent and financially interesting partner and was awarded the contract. In 2018, the construction of new LNG ships began in China.
Every year, Volkswagen Group Logistics organizes, coordinates and is responsible for a total of 7,700 ship departures worldwide. Several hundred scheduled ships and eleven chartered ships sail the world’s oceans for the Group every day. Every year they ship 2.8 million new cars.