Wallenius SOL takes delivery of LNG-powered Botnia Enabler in China

China’s CIMC Raffles in Yantai has delivered the first out of two LNG-fueled RoRo vessels to Sweden’s Wallenius SOL.

Wallenius SOl took delivery of what says is world’s largest ice-rated multi-fuel ConRo vessel on Friday.

Last month, CIMC Raffles, part of CIMC, said that the LNG-powered vessel had completed its second trial.

The ship has a length of 242 meters, a beam of 35.2 meters, a capacity of 5,800 lane meters, and the highest Finnish-Swedish ice class to cope with the harsh winter conditions in the Gulf of Bothnia.

In addition to its classic RoRo function, Botnia Enabler also has a large capacity for containers.

The ship features two 685-cbm type C LNG tanks, provided by MAN Cryo, as well as two WinGD dual-fuel main engines.

First European call in June

Following delivery, the “record-breaking” vessel will now load cargo in two Chinese ports before it heads home to Europe and the Gulf of Bothnia, according to a statement by Wallenius SOl.

It expects Botnia Enabler to call at its first European port, Antwerp, at the end of June.

Once in Europe, the vessel will enter regular traffic on the Zeebrugge-Antwerp-Kokkola-Skelleftea-Oulu-Kemi-Travemunde route.

Thus the container carrying capacity on the route would increase by almost 300 percent from 336 TEU to 1000 TEU compared to the ship currently serving the route, and RoRo capacity would rise by almost 100 percent, it said.

To remind, the designer of the vessels, Knud E. Hansen, previously expected the delivery of Botnia Enabler to take place in mid-December of 2021.

“The delays we suffered along the way are no secret, so finally seeing her leave port on her maiden voyage is a fantastic feeling. She’s been eagerly awaited by us and our customers,” Ragnar Johansson, Wallenius SOL’s managing director, said.

Sister vessel to join this summer

Besides Botnia Enabler, CIMC Raffles is also building its sister vessel Baltic Enabler.

Wallenius SOL said it expects to take delivery of the second ship “later this summer”.

The vessels are “significantly more energy efficient” per transported unit than older vessels, the firm said.

According to IVL’s calculations, Bothnia Enabler would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 63 percent, but also NOx by 96 percent, SOx by 99 per cent and particulates by 99 percent.

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