Rhenus develops new vessel for ‘European shipping 2.0’

The Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest shipping company has started to set up its own ecological short sea fleet. It has placed orders for the first four environmentally-friendly vessels known as Hanse Eco Short Sea Coasters. Construction work is expected to start in February 2020 and the ships are due to be delivered during the second half of 2021.

The Hanse Eco fleet is the result of an initiative launched by Torsten Westphal, one of the founding members of Arkon Shipping.

Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest’s new ship standard for European short sea traffic is about 90 m long and has a load-carrying capacity of 4,200 tonnes. The cargo hold will be able to accommodate more than 5,500 cu m of goods.

“Our Hanse-Eco fleet is pointing the way forwards so that we can meet climate protection requirements and also make sensible use of the mega trend of digitalisation. We’re providing a high standard for European shipping 2.0 – from the planning stage until the vessels are put into service,” said Westphal, managing shareholder of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest.

The vessels have bridges at the front providing a clear view during deck loading procedures as well as a new hull shape. An enlarged hold length also makes it possible to transport project loads as well as classic bulk and break bulk cargo. This type of vessel with its end-to-end deck is suited to handle large-volume and bulky goods and is able to serve new cargo segments with its open-top capability.

Alongside the water treatment systems, which will be mandatory from 2020 onwards, the vessels are equipped with a hybrid ship’s propulsion system with an organic catalytic converter, support from an electrical motor and a waste gas after-treatment unit. The main engine can also use organic fuel.

“An integrated automation system and using the latest camera technology simplify the operational processes on board and in ports and reduce the administrative work needing to be completed by captains,” said Ralf Uebachs, managing director of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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