Marine transport solutions provider Meriaura Group has announced that it is preparing and designing a transport concept that will achieve complete carbon neutrality.

Based on hybrid propulsion, the concept will combine battery technology and sustainable bio-oil.

The company stated that the concept will be developed with an additional objective of automating the process of cargo handling and digitalising all functions.

Meriaura Group president Jussi Mälkiä said: “Meriaura Group’s goal is to launch in 2024 the first transportation concept based on renewable energy since the era of large sailing ships.”

The complete transport chain will be taken into consideration for the development of the concept.

Currently, the commercial operating model and other details are in development.

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The concept is being designed with canal, lake and sea feeder traffic in mind.

Lake Saimaa, Finland, is the planned location for testing the vessel, and Saimaa canal locks are being expanded as part of the project.

The company noted that the dimensions of the new concept vessel will be consistent with the new Saimax dimensions.

Mälkiä added: “Lake Saimaa is a perfect pilot area for our concept. The region’s strong and progressive industry needs a clear transport route, which will be made possible by the extension of the canal locks. In the future’s competition, a cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport chain is needed to ensure the vitality of the Saimaa region.”

The company will utilise the lessons learned from its bio-oil projects for the execution of the concept.

Furthermore, Meriaura Group will work towards 100% greenhouse gas neutrality by using electricity propulsion powered by batteries and renewable energy.