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Thursday, November 15, 2018 

One of the worldís more environmentally-friendly ships is now operational following delivery of the 25,600dwt Vikki to ESL Shipping. The 160m long bulk carrier is fuelled by liquefied natural gas, producing less than half of the carbon dioxide of previous vessel generation.

Designed by Finland’s Deltamarin and ESL Shipping, and built in China as the CSC Jinling Shipyard, the vessel has an optimised hull shape for lower fuel consumption and emissions, while the underwater parts of the hull have been coated with an antifouling system capable of reducing drag.

Powered by a 6000kW main engine with 1250kW power take-in, engine output is optimised for open-sea conditions prevalent for most of the year even on the Baltic Sea. A shaft generator, supplied by the Finnish WE Tech, allows auxiliary engines to supply extra power to the propeller shaft, thereby providing the necessary power for the 1A ice class. Conversely, the shaft generator enables transmitting power from the propeller shaft to the ship’s electrical system and thus optimising the engine load and utilisation rate.

 Auxiliary engines are also capable of running on LNG to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 50%, compared to diesel power. Emissions abatement is also aided with a “cold ironing” shore power system that cuts emissions in port by up to 100%.

"We are highly aware of the discussion about the environmental issues relating to the maritime industry. Design work on Viikki and its sister vessel Haaga was started five years ago, and these vessels are the manifestation of everything that is possible in the way of environmental efficiency today," said Mikki Koskinen, Managing Director, ESL Shipping.

Viikki features the latest in new technology. One of the central innovations is the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in its main engine, three auxiliary engines and the boiler. The ship has been designed in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) that rates the energy efficiency of newbuildings. Even today, the ship meets the environmental requirements of 2025.

Both vessels have been designed for intensive traffic with several port calls a week and cargo handling will often take place with the vessel's own cranes. A distinctive feature in Viikki are its automatic cranes developed in collaboration with MacGregor that are able to unload the cargo to a conveyor or on the pier unassisted.

Maritime transport accounts for 90 per cent of Finland's exports and 80 per cent of imports. Because of the country's geographical position, sea transport is the most important and cost-efficient logistics option.

ESL Shipping’s parent company Aspo has invested about €200 million in its shipping arm on the basis that its believes “solutions based on automation and environmental efficiency are the only way to bring the entire industry forward", said Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ESL Shipping.

Designed for winter conditions Both ships are designed for winter operations. Special attention has been paid to the insulation of accommodation unit and other critical spaces. The vessels have heat recovery systems, and important areas of the outer deck are heated. The forecastle of the ship is covered to prevent the water splashing on the deck from freezing the windlasses and other equipment.

Vikki sailed to Japan to load a cargo of raw materials. From there, the vessel deployed to the Baltic Sea through the Northeast Passage, which shortened journey time by three weeks and reduced the emissions of the journey by 40 per cent compared with going through the Panama Canal.

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