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Finnish shipping company Langh Ship has ordered three dual-fuelled, multipurpose dry cargo vessels which will serve steel producer Outokumpu on the short sea lane between Finland and continental Europe.

Outokumpu has entered a long-term time charter with Langh Ship for the vessels, which will be built in Wuhu shipyard in China, and which will replace the vessels currently used by Outokumpu.

Delivery for the first vessel is scheduled mid-2023, followed by the remaining two ‘at close intervals’.

The 7,800 DWT vessels, which are designed for all-year traffic in the northern Gulf of Bothnia and will have ice class 1A, will operate between Outokumpu’s main port, Tornio, Finland, and its continental hub Terneuzen, the Netherlands.

Developed by Langh Ship in collaboration with Outokumpu and the Chinese ship designer Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI), the vessels will transport semi-finished and finished steel products to customers and for further processing. On the back-haul the new ships will be loaded with steel scrap, which is the main raw material of Outokumpu stainless steel.

‘Thanks to the energy-efficient hull shape, these vessels have a lower engine power than the current vessels,’ said Laura Langh-Lagerlöf, Managing Director, Langh Ship. ‘Despite that they can load more cargo and keep the same service speed.’

Eero Pajunen, Chief Operating Officer, Langh Ship, added: ‘The design has been developed in close cooperation between Outokumpu and Langh Ship. Both companies have the joint target to make the vessels as energy efficient, environmentally friendly and as flexible as possible. The future will bring alternative fuels, shore power and battery technologies, which these vessels are already equipped for.’

The newbuildings will be equipped with a dual fuel main engine with an output of 4,500 kW. Initially, they will run on LNG, which, said Langh Ship, can be directly replaced by liquefied biogas (LBG). Moreover, the ship's LNG tank is both ‘methanol and ammonia ready’.

The vessels are prepared for the installation of onshore power connections while space is also reserved for the installation of batteries to enable hybrid solutions.

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