The Eco-class hybrid RoRo vessels were built for Finnlines under an order placed in 2018. Credit: Finnlines.
The vessels are designed to achieve zero-emission port calls with the use of a 5MW battery power bank. Credit: Finnlines.
Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) assigned Green Plus notation to the vessels for their environmental performance. Credit: Finnlines.

The Eco-class vessels are a new series of three hybrid roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) vessels built for Finnlines, a shipping company based in Finland.

Ordered in 2018, the three vessels were built at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Jiangsu, China.

The first of the three vessels, named Finneco I, was delivered at the shipyard in April 2022. It is deployed on the Bilbao–Zeebrugge/Antwerp–Travemünde–Helsinki/Kotka–Paldiski route.

The second RoRo vessel, Finneco II, was delivered in May 2022, followed by Finneco III in June 2022.

The new RoRo vessels are part of Finnlines’ €500m ($604m) programme, which also includes the construction of two eco-efficient Superstar roll-on, roll-off passenger (RoPax) vessels.

Finnlines Eco-class vessel design and features

The Finnlines Eco-class vessel is based on the same hull as the Grimaldi Green fifth-generation vessel.

It has a length of 238m, a moulded breadth of 34m, a draught of 7.2m and a deadweight of 17,105t. The RoRo vessel has a service speed of 20.7kt.

The vessel can accommodate 26 crew personnel and 12 passengers. It can transport 300 twenty-foot equipment unit (TEU) containers with 5,800 lane meters of space.

The car decks of the vessel have a capacity of 5,800m2 (62,430.68ft²) while the weather deck provides a capacity of 520TEU.

Each vessel in the Eco-class can transport up to 300 trailers, 150 cars and 500 sea containers per voyage. The new vessels feature 38% increased cargo carrying capacity compared to the largest RoRo vessels in Finnlines’ Breeze series.

The Eco-class vessel is equipped with stern ramps, internal ramps, and hoistable car decks. The flexible design supports using part of the cargo decks to load paper reels and allows the hoistable deck to load up to 7m of rolling freight.

The ships are designed to meet the requirements of 1A Super, the highest classification under the Finnish-Swedish ice class regulations.

Sustainable features

The hybrid RoRo vessel provides environmental-friendly performance by using a 5MW battery pack comprising lithium mega-batteries while at harbour to ensure zero emissions in port. The batteries can be recharged during sailing.

The ship is equipped with a hybrid power conversion system, including a 5,000kWh energy storage system, which enables it to meet the standards of the “Green Plus” notation of the classification society Registro Italiano Navale (RINA).

Furthermore, the emission reduction features include an air lubrication system under the keel to reduce water resistance of the hull, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

About 600m² (6,458ft²) solar panels are installed to generate additional power.

An exhaust gas cleaning system is also installed onboard the vessel to remove harmful particles from exhaust gases.

A waste heat recovery system is used to tap the thermal energy from the exhaust gas and help generate electrical energy to increase the efficiency of the vessel.

The RoRo ship also features a ballast water treatment system to destroy biological organisms such as zooplankton, algae and bacteria present in ballast water to reduce the risk of transferring invasive aquatic species into the marine environment.

Engine and propulsion

The Eco-class vessels are equipped with twin MAN B&W 9S50ME-C9.6 two-stroke main engines with an output of 12,780kW each.

Each vessel also has three auxiliary engines with a power output of 1,540kW each and two bow thrusters with an output of 1,800kW each. The vessels are also equipped with two shaft generators with a power rating of 2,000kW each.

Onboard amenities

The onboard services are designed to meet the needs of lorry drivers, who are frequent customers. The amenities include cabins, a gym, a sauna area, a laundry area, as well as a dining and recreation room.

Contractors involved

Knud E. Hansen, a vessel design and engineering services company, received a contract to provide the design for the three Eco-class hybrid RoRo vessels in April 2019. The company worked in partnership with Finnlines to customise the design to accommodate heavy cargo and operate in cold climates.

MAN Energy Solutions, a German manufacturing company, was contracted for the supply of the main engines for the vessels. The engines were constructed by MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke licensee Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine & Machinery Business Unit in Korea.

The lithium-ion battery systems for the three vessels were supplied by Corvus Energy, a Norway-based supplier of zero-emission solutions for the maritime industry.

Wärtsilä provided the hybrid power conversion system for the three new RoRo ships of Finnlines under an order received in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The company also supplied in-line shaft generators, power take-off/take-in converters, and transformers as part of the contract.

SeaQuest Marine Project Management, a marine consultancy based in Hong Kong, was appointed to provide construction supervision for the Eco-class vessels in April 2020.