Finland-based shipping company Finnlines has launched the second hybrid Ro-Ro vessel, MS Finneco II, and laid the keel for the third vessel, Finneco III.

Chinese Jinling shipyard in Nanjing has been tasked with the construction of the series of three Ro-Ro vessels.

The first of the hybrid Ro-Ro vessels, Finneco I, will enter sea trials in September, when the speed, manoeuvring, machinery, electrical installations and other equipment will be tested.

This vessel will commence operations at the end of the year, while the other two ships will begin operations next year.

With a length of 238m and breadth of 34m, the vessels will have a deadweight of 17,100 metric tonnes and lane length of 5,800m.

Being Ice class 1 A Super, the ships will be able to accommodate 12 passengers and will all operate under the Finnish flag.

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In comparison with the largest vessels currently in the fleet, these hybrid newbuilds will have around 40% more cargo-carrying capacity.

Cargo loading and unloading will be managed through three ramps.

In addition, the new cargo ships will feature a gym and sauna area, dining and recreation room, and laundry for use by drivers.

The company’s ongoing $589.84m (€500m) Newbuilding Programme includes three Ro-Ro vessels and two Ro-Pax vessels.

In a statement, Finnlines said: “Both vessel types will be larger and more eco-friendly than any vessel in the present Finnlines fleet, and than almost any Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax in the Baltic and in the world.”

The vessels will be equipped with engines featuring emission abatement technology, air lubrication systems, lithium-ion batteries and solar panels for greener operations.

With delivery scheduled for 2023, the Ro-Pax vessels will include shore-side electricity connections to achieve zero emissions while in port.

The Jinling shipyard laid the keel for MS Finneco II in May.