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A significant step towards the green transformation of fleet and operations


    Unifeeder Group has signed a long-term time-charter agreement for two new methanol-capable container feeder vessels with an option for two additional similar vessels. The Group plans to deploy the new ships on its European network, where the new vessels will significantly contribute to lowering the network’s emissions.

    The planned delivery of the new vessels is 2026. Unifeeder intends to deploy the new ships on its European network, significantly lowering network emissions. German-based ship-owning group Elbdeich Reederei will build and manage the 1250 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels.

    In parallel with the delivery of the methanol-capable vessels, Unifeeder will continue to improve the fuel efficiency of the entire fleet deployed and increase the use of biofuels on the conventional ships in the fleet.

    Ultimately, though, the greenest fuel is the fuel that is not burned. We strive to offer our customers solutions that support their sustainability journeys, and while these new vessels are part of the answer, efficient routing, securing high levels of vessel utilization, and dedicated capacity management across all of our offerings have significant roles to play as well.

    Jesper Kristensen, Group CEO of Unifeeder Group

    Alongside parent company DP World, Unifeeder is working with partners across the industry to find solutions to the challenge of renewable methanol supply, which needs off-take commitments to build production at the scale the industry needs to replace conventional fossil fuels.

    We believe in methanol-capable vessels as part of a suite of deployable solutions to reduce carbon emissions in our sector. We are happy to contribute with this project to a greener future in shipping. We look forward to operating these modern state-of-the-art container feeder vessels in our partnership with Unifeeder and hope other market participants will follow this example.

    Robert Frese, Managing Director at Elbdeich Reederei

    2040 Carbon Neutral

    The investment in these new ships supports Unifeeder Group’s ambitious decarbonization plan. Putting its targets well above the industry average, Unifeeder has committed to a 25 percent reduction of emissions by 2030, carbon neutrality by 2040, and net zero emissions by 2050. It aims to achieve this by emphasizing fuel-efficient practices, regular maintenance and refitting processes of the existing fleet, and fostering a culture of learning and collaboration, sharing best practices across markets to drive effective carbon reduction strategies.

    As the number of methanol-capable vessels increases in both our operations and our customers, I hope this drives an increase in innovation and production amongst methanol producers. This will then complete a virtuous circle and ensure we can operate more and more methanol-capable vessels with the right color of methanol fuels in our networks.

    Jesper Kristensen, Group CEO of Unifeeder Group

    The new building project is the latest step in a series of efforts undertaken between Unifeeder and Elbdeich Reederei to reduce emissions within the jointly-operated Unifeeder fleet. These efforts include the first test of Synthetic Natural Gas as a fuel on a commercial vessel, the continuous use of biofuels, and various vessel modifications made to reduce the fuel consumption of existing tonnage.