Finland-based carrier ESL Shipping has signed a long-term frame agreement with Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB for raw material sea transport.
As per the agreed terms, ESL will transport SSAB’s inbound raw material within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea.
ESL Shipping chairman Aki Ojanen said: "ESL Shipping’s new customer agreement running for several years will secure growing freight volumes, and the new investments to be implemented will release old vessel stock for other transport needs.
"Besides their environmental benefits, the cost savings provided by the new technology will also allow better profitability."
ESL will invest €60m in new energy-efficient LNG-fuelled ships to carry the raw material, in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions.
Using new ice-class 1A ships, which are said to be the world’s first LNG-fuelled large bulk carriers, the company will achieve a reduction of more than 50% in CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported compared to present vessels.
The two new vessels will be built at Sinotrans & CSC Qingshan Shipyard in China and will enter into service in early 2018.
ESL Shipping is working with Finnish designer Deltamarin to build the ships based on customer requirements.
The 160m-long ships with 25.600dwt have undergone model tests for both water (SSPA) and ice-class (Aker Arctic) operations.
Through the agreement, the companies are aiming to reduce overall logistics costs, while simultaneously making raw material logistics as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.