The Port of Riga has announced that by officially welcoming the Containerships Polar, it has started regular port services to LNG-powered containerships.
According to the statement, it has been planned that the first two 100% LNG-powered vessels Containerships Polar and Containerships Nord (owned by the CMA CGM group container line) will arrive at the port three times per week, with a third LNG vessel expected to join them in the Autumn.
With this latest announcement, the Port of Riga claims that it has taken a large step towards becoming a green port and reducing the environmental impact of its operations. As the new LNG-fuelled ships are some of the largest container ships that make regular stops at the Port of Riga, it is expected that the volume of container cargo will also increase.
Kristaps Jakovlevs, the manager of Containerships in Latvia and Estonia, said: “Some European markets shipments of Containerships customers are already delivered by LNG powered vehicles. Together with the first LNG-powered container vessels, they will form a complete cycle of green logistics. In the nearest future, we also plan to introduce an LNG car fleet in Latvia, reducing the environmental impact and shifting towards 100% green logistics. Moreover, the new LNG vessels that arrive at the Port of Riga have a larger tonnage allowing us to offer better services to our customers and allowing Latvian exporters to better plan their supply chains and cargo volumes to the UK, Benelux countries, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal.”
Martinš Ziemanis, Deputy CEO of the Freeport of Riga, added: “One of our development priorities requires use of environmentally-friendly technologies, and the other – significant increase in the number of handled containers. The development programme adopted last year sets an ambitious goal: increasing the volume of container cargo to 1 million handled TEU units per year in 10 years. As this volume keeps growing annually, we believe that this goal is achievable. During the first six months of this year, we managed to achieve record-high turnover by handling 238.2 TEU units, which is 5.6 % more than a year ago.”
In June, Containerships Polar received its first LNG supply in Rotterdam, a bunkering operation carried out by LNG London (Shell), Europe’s first LNG bunkering barge (read more here). The Polar, ice class 1A, capacity 1,380 TEU, Dual-Fuel LNG propulsion (10080 KW), is suitable for adverse weather conditions and navigation challenges, frequent in its operating area of Northern Europe and the Baltic States.
Source: LNG Industry