A new liquefied natural gas (LNG) battery hybrid pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) ordered by UECC has been launched at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard.

This new vessel is UECC’s second in a series of three such newbuilds.

The first steel for this vessel was cut more than a year ago.

UECC said that the yard and shipowner overcame manpower and logistical challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to execute the delivery according to schedule.

Hull number H2664 is expected to be delivered, along with the third vessel, in the first half of next year.

The first unit, which was launched earlier this year, will be delivered later this autumn after final commissioning.

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UECC ship management and newbuilding head Jan Thore Foss said: “The intention was to further improve on these two E-class vessels, Auto Eco and Auto Energy, by rationalising fuel consumption through the use of hybrid battery power.”

The newbuild project turned to Jiangnan Shipyard Group’s internal design company for engineering work to incorporate the hybrid technology, which was provided by Finland’s WE Tech.

With the help of a shaft generator, the ship can recharge its batteries while sailing.

This enables it to operate the bow thruster in and out of port exclusively on battery power, which minimises emissions according to port authority requirements.

Battery power onboard the newbuilds is expected to enhance operational efficiency and further lower emissions through peak shaving while managing partial accommodation load and driving auxiliary equipment.

In a statement, the UECC said: “The use of a battery hybrid solution will enable UECC to exceed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) target to reduce carbon intensity by 40% from 2008 levels within 2030.

“Emissions of carbon dioxide will be reduced by around 25%, SOx and particulate matter by 90% and NOx by 85% from the use of LNG, while the newbuilds will also meet the IMO’s Tier 3 NOx emissions limitations for the North Sea and Baltic Sea.”

After delivery, the newbuild trio will offer UECC five eco-friendly PCTCs out of its 17-vessel fleet.

In May, Jiangnan Shipyard held a keel-laying ceremony for the construction of the third in a series of newbuild LNG battery hybrid PCTCs that are being built for UECC.