Aug 15, 2023 | Shipbuilding & ship repair news

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has signed a letter of intent for four firm, and eight optional, next generation 9,350 CEU methanol dual fuel PCTC vessels with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu), with deliveries starting from the second half of 2026.

CEO Lasse Kristoffersen said: “There is an urgent need for our industry to transform over the next couple of years. As a company, we are determined to shape this industry and lead the way to capitalise effectively on changing circumstances, as we grow with customers and partners sharing our journey. And these are not just four new ordinary vessels. We are committed to being a shaper, not an adapter. We want to be transformational in the fight against climate change and all of Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s new investments will contribute to the ambitious goals of reaching net-zero emissions by 2027. As such, as a pledge to this ambition, it is only fitting that our new vessel class is named ‘The Shaper Class’”.

The company’s aim is to deliver an end-to-end net-zero emissions solution by 2027. Wallenius Wilhelmsen says it is the world’s largest ro-ro vessel operator and will maintain a fleet of 125-135 vessels.

Lars Ekren, Senior Manager Newbuildings and Conversions said: “The process of developing our new design started over 1.5 year ago and the Newbuildings team have been working in close collaboration with the designer (Deltamarin) and internal and external stakeholders during this period, to ensure the vessel design meets of safety requirements and is well suitable for our future short term and long-term operational needs. Energy efficiency & reducing GHG emissions is a top priority, and a lot of effort has put into ensuring the new vessels will significantly contribute to meeting our emission reduction targets.”

The company says that it is already partnering with customers on reducing emissions through biofuel and the new vessels will accelerate the move towards net-zero. This requires new and more expensive fuels but both WW says it and its customers are committed to secure this as soon as it can be made available. Methanol is considered by the company as the fastest way to reach net-zero emission, so the four vessels have been ordered to use alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and will be able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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