Volkswagen charters LNG-fuelled car carrier

The LNG-fuelled Siem Confucius, carrying 4,800 new vehicles, left the Port of Emden on 16 June on a three-week maiden voyage to Mexico.

The car carrier, which will call at ports in the United States and Canada on its voyage, has 3,800 cubic metres (cbm) of LNG onboard – this will be sufficient to fuel the vessel on the round trip from Germany to Mexico and back

With the deployment of the Siem Confucius and and its sister ship Siem Aristotle, which is expected to embark on its maiden voyage later this year, Volkswagen is the first company to marine LNG in overseas car carriers. The two vessels have been under construction in China since 2018 for Siem Car Carriers.

‘We are proud to commission the world’s first LNG vehicle transporters of this size. This is an important part of our decarbonisation strategy,’ said Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics.

As part of its ‘goTOzero’ strategy, the company is looking to reduce its total CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 and become CO2-neutral in its balance sheet by 2050

‘We have to take action now, because ships like the two LNG freighters will be in operation for many years,’ said Zernechel.

Astrid Mecke, Head of Vehicle Logistics, also added: ‘Thanks to their duel fuel propulsion, the ships are also future-proof for further developments in regenerative fuels. In the medium term, they could run on biogas or e-gas and thus be virtually CO2-neutral.

Volkswagen says that it intends to begin operating selected short routes in Europe using fuel from renewable sources.

Volkswagen Group Logistics coordinates and is responsible for around 7,700 ship departures worldwide every year.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes