The world’s largest “roll-on/roll-off” cargo ship designed specifically for carrying wheeled merchandise such as cars docked at the port of Veracruz Wednesday in the first leg of its maiden voyage.
Commissioned by Volkswagen, the Siem Confucius relies exclusively on liquefied natural gas (LNG) for fuel. LNG-powered vessels produce 25% fewer carbon dioxide and 100% fewer sulfur dioxide emissions.
The Siem Confucius and its sister ship, the Siem Aristotle, measure 200 meters long by 38 meters wide and have 13 car decks, meaning they can carry about 7,500 cars each when fully loaded.
Kenneth Ross, CEO of Siem Car Carriers which built the ships, calls them the most innovative, efficient and environmentally-friendly ships in the world. “If you look at everything from their optimized design, speed reduction, the shape of the bow, even the quality of the paint – it’s a genuine breakthrough,” Ross says.
Miguel Ángel Yáñez Monroy, director of the port of Veracruz, said the Siem Confucius offloaded 357 Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Porsche and Bentley models from Europe and loaded 3,050 Volkswagen and 2,350 Audi vehicles produced in Puebla. They were bound for Germany after stops in the United Stated and Canada as part of its “America Round Tour” route.
The vessel, which sails at an average of 16.5 knots in “eco-mode” and 19 knots in full-service mode, left the port of Emden, Germany, on June 16, docking in Mexico on July 22.
The port of Veracruz moves about 1 million cars per year, Yáñez said, although the coronavirus has disrupted vehicle movements and demand has collapsed.
The arrival of the Siem Confucius is a positive sign for the reactivation of the economy, he said, highlighting that the arrival of the ship indicates that, at least for the automotive industry, things are getting back to normal.
Source: T21 (sp)