K Line's Solar Powered Car Carrier Visits CMP

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 2, 2016

  • Photo: CMP
  • Photo: CMP
  • Photo: CMP Photo: CMP
  • Photo: CMP Photo: CMP

The latest generation of car carrier arrived recently. The sun doesn’t just shine over the ship, it also contributes to generating energy for it as Drive Green Highway has high efficiency solar panels.

Drive Green Highway is the world’s biggest ship adapted for solar energy. She is almost 200 meters long, 38 meters wide and is operated by the Japanese shipping company K Line. The ship has the capacity to load 7,500 cars. When she recently visited Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP), just over 1,400 cars were unloaded in Malmö.
“We work continuously to ensure capacity and maintain CMP’s position as a leading car port. It is therefore important that we can receive the latest generation of car carrier, which is a few meters wider than its predecessor,” said Björn Larsson, Terminal Manager at CMP.
CMP’s facilities are ideal for receiving this type of really large car carrier, for example, in terms of depth of water, quays and all the services required. The ships are called Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC) and they are getting bigger all the time. The fact that Drive Green Highway is wider means that she can load about another 1,000 cars. 
“The piloting restrictions have changed here in Malmö during the last year. That is also a prerequisite in enabling us to receive these larger ships and being able to grow together with the customer,” Larsson said.
On board Drive Green Highway is the world’s most advanced system for solar energy. More than 900 high efficiency solar panels have been installed and they can supply 150 kW. This sets a new standard within shipping. No other ship can generate as much energy from the sun. The energy from the solar panels is used to power all LED lighting on board. The large number of panels have been produced specifically to cope with conditions in the warm and salty sea environment. 
“Receiving this type of environmentally compatible ship feels especially positive,” Björn Larsson emphasizes. “We are keen to work together with customers to make shipping more environmentally friendly, both through direct measures and through more long-term initiatives.”
K Lines is one of Japan’s largest shipping companies and launched Drive Green Highway in February. She is the first in a series of ships that K Line calls the Drive Green Project. What these ships have in common is that they have a lower environmental impact, for example, lower emissions of sulphur- and nitrogen oxides, as well as of carbon dioxide.
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