Substantial European Union funding is being made towards a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project by Containerships, a Finnish logistics and container shipping service, to transition the company completely to LNG throughout its logistics supply chain.
Containerships intends to be the first company in Europe to make the eco-friendly move with a grant of US$18 million from the European Union and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO).
A total of $11.4 million will go towards ship investments while a further $6.6 million will be allocated for the development of a European LNG terminal network with other partners involved in the project.
The first Containerships LNG vessel and the Steel Cutting Ceremony of the second LNG vessel will be held in Guangzhou on April 7, 2017.
This will be followed by four LNG cargo ships being built and delivery by the end of 2018 by Chinese Wenchong Shipyard.
The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) has also decided to invest $5.3 million in supporting the company's environmental strategy in the Baltic Sea region.
In addition to new ships, the Containerships is investing $5 million in LNG trucks.
Containerships is already operating more than 40 LNG-powered trucks.
The plan is to increase the number to 150–200 and the company has also invested in an LNG refuelling station located in the United Kingdom.
The combined value of the investments amounts to approximately $160–213 million, including acquisitions for both maritime and road traffic.
Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, CEO of Containerships (pictured below), said: “The participation of the European Union and NEFCO in the project gives us considerable support for building the first eco-friendly supply chain in Europe.
“According to feedback from our customers, in the future, an increasing number of big corporations intend to use as emission-free supply chains as possible.
“For us, being environmentally friendly is practical also from the business point of view. And, thanks to the improvements, we can ensure that our customers will get their money's worth.”