As reported earlier, UECC, jointly owned by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Wallenius Lines, has signed a contract to construct two dual fuel LNG PCTCs with 1A Super Finnish/Swedish ice class.
It was a magnificent day with representatives of UECC’s owners, NYK and Wallenius, UECC’s customers and partners who had gathered to celebrate this occasion. Their numerous attendance truly marked the significance of this milestone.
Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade, was The Godmother of M/V AUTO ECO.
Geert Bourgeois, the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy and Immovable Heritage were present at the event.
Gracing the event were also the Secretary of State for the Belgian North Sea Coast (Philippe De Backer), Mayor of Brugge (Reneet Landuyt), Norwegian Ambassador to Belgium (Ingrid Schulerud), Japanese Ambassador to Belgium (Masafumi Ishii) and representative from the Port of Zeebrugge (Joachim Coens/President – Managing Director).
During the ceremony, Glenn Edvardsen (CEO/UECC) began his speech with, “On March 6, 2014, in Oslo UECC signed a contract to build two dual fuel PCTCs with Kawasaki Heavy Industries at the NACKS yard in China. This was the start of an incredible journey – to construct the most technically advanced PCTC ever built, where the LNG installation would be a pioneering design and one of the largest employed on any commercial vessel, and the largest yet of its kind on a pure car and truck carrier. This required highly skilled and dedicated group of engineers along with great teamwork and cooperation. This was made possible by working together with NYK’s Technical Group and Wallenius Marine, and with invaluable support from Kawasaki Heavy Industries and NACKS. The result of this long process is the vessel you see here: A triumph of engineering, teamwork, and international cooperation.
Edvardsen continued, “It is the first PCTC of its kind in the world to be fitted with a dual-fuel LNG propulsion system, allowing it to complete a 14-day round-trip voyage solely on LNG without refueling. AUTO ECO not only meets existing emissions regulations but also exceeds them, allowing her to trade in any Environment Control Area, worldwide.
“To make sure the vessel can trade safely in icy waters, AUTO ECO has been constructed to meet the highest ice class standard: Super 1A Finish /Swedish Ice Class. She may be scheduled to trade in the Baltic Sea, but AUTO ECO is capable of sailing just about anywhere – including the Northeast or Northwest Passage if ever called upon.”
Edvardsen concluded his speech, “AUTO ECO will help UECC achieve its vision: To be recognised as the leading provider of short sea Ro/Ro transport in Europe. AUTO ECO serves as a bold statement of UECC’s commitment to environmental sustainability, consistent with the values of our owners, NYK and Wallenius Line. So on behalf of the entire organization, I wish to thank everyone who helped plan, design, financed and build this remarkable vessel. To Captain Henryk and his skilled crew of AUTO ECO – I wish you good luck, smooth seas and following wind, and please, take good care of her. She is the pride of our fleet! “