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Mercuria and ÈTA Shipping Partner on Vessels with Modular Power Systems

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 14, 2023

Source: Mercuria

Source: Mercuria

Global energy and commodity group, Mercuria, and Netherlands-based ÈTA Shipping have established a joint venture for the construction of six diesel-electric shortsea general cargo vessels with the option for another 10.

The vessels will be built by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering in China and will be owned by Mare Balticum BV, a subsidiary of Mercuria, with ÈTA Shipping acting as a minority shareholder. The maiden voyage of the first vessel is planned for the second quarter of 2025.

ÈTA Shipping’s modular design of the ÈTA 6700 vessel involves an electric motor that powers the propeller. Electricity is supplied by generators which can be fuelled by conventional or low carbon fuels. It is also possible to connect any sustainable power source, such as batteries or fuel cell technology that can run for example on green hydrogen, methanol or ammonia.

“The modular design of the vessels allows for an easy replacement of a power source, which can be anything as long as it produces electricity,” explains co-founder Sam Gombra. “We estimate that it will take less than a day to remove the existing power generation system and replace it, fully or partially, without the need for a shipyard.”

The ÈTA 6700’s efficient design has been achieved without compromising speed or cargo carrying capacity, and at a comparable new build cost versus conventional vessels. It has a cargo carrying capacity of 7400 ton deadweight but is just under 5000 gross tonnage and can achieve 10.5 knots fully laden at under 900KW of power. This makes it the most efficient Ice 1A vessel in its peer group, says Mercuria.

Automation also plays a big part, and the ship can be safely managed with a reduced crew size of four, instead of six.

“The vessel’s 3D management tool that uses over 1,300 sensors, enables virtual navigation, equipment data access, and historical trend analysis for crew and technical staff,” says Walter van Gruijthuijsen, a seasoned naval architect and co-founder of ÈTA Shipping.

The investment in ÈTA Shipping and the new shipbuilding series gives Mercuria a platform to accelerate the transition to zero carbon shipping. “Three features make these vessels truly unique: future-proof design, efficiency, and automation. Designed with the efficiency in mind, ÈTA vessels are already 30% more efficient than a conventional newbuild and about 50% more efficient than the average ship in the legacy fleet,” said Mindaugas Gogelis, Energy Transition Director of Mercuria.

“The embedded flexibility in ÈTA 6700 design will allow us to offer a tailored decarbonisation pathway optimized to the specific needs of cargo owner or operator,” said Larry Johnson, Global Head of Freight and Shipping Trading of Mercuria. “We can go as fast as technical solutions become commercially available.”

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