Port of Vigo receives world’s largest LNG-powered ro-ro ship
After its inaugural visit in mid-December 2016, Vigo received again the “AUTO ECO”, the world’s largest LNG-fueled ro-ro ship, owned by UECC shipping company. During its stay in Vigo, the ship loaded a total of 1,600 cars to Zeebrugge (Belgium). Its arrival in Vigo would not have been possible without the conditions presented by the port’s Ro-Ro Terminal, with a sufficient depth -up to 14 meters of draft- for the stopover of this type of vessel.
It is a terminal specialized in traffic of general merchandise whose operations are carried out by rolling means. It has five fixed and one mobile ramps for the docking of ships and an attached surface of uncovered storage of approximately 400,000 m2. These ramps or berths are capable of accommodating today’s large transport ships.
The arrival of this ship reinforces the LNG strategy being carried out by the Port Authority of Vigo, in accordance with the philosophy of the use of clean fuels. In fact, the three “A CLASS” type vessels currently being built in China – hybrid LNG/battery powered – will be the new ships that, from the second half of 2021, will start regular services from the Port of Vigo to Northern Europe.
For this reason, the Port Authority is working on various initiatives within the Blue Growth Plan, which are related to the use of LNG, such as the “SamueLNG” project, which will create an LNG supply system in the port with the support and collaboration of Reganosa; or the “Core LNGas hive” project, based on a system for supplying electricity to ships on the Motorways of the Sea using LNG.
For the Port of Vigo it is also vital to implement renewable energies in port land, which will serve as a demonstration of the port’s commitment to the business sector of renewables in Galicia.
The “AUTO ECO” is the first of the two twin ships that UECC hired to comply with the regulations on sulfur emissions in force in Northern Europe, which is a good example of the projection of LNG at the international level. It has the “Super 1A” ice certification required by Sweden and Finland, so it could sail covered waters up to 60 cm. of ice. It was specifically designed for transit through the Baltic and other ice-prone areas. It belongs to the PCTC (Pure Car and Truck Carrier) type, so its 10 decks can accommodate cars and trucks. It has capacity for about 4,000 cars and 6,000 m2 for heavy cargo.