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Meriaura orders 2 biofuel-powered cargo vessels from Dutch Royal Bodewes shipyard

Photo: Meriaura

Finnish shipping company Meriaura announced April 15 that it has signed a delivery contract for two Ecotrader cargo ships with the Dutch shipyard Royal Bodewes.



According to the contract, the ships will be built in Hoogezand in Holland and their delivery will take place in January and December 2026.



The ordered Ecotrader ships are 105 meters long, 1A ice-classed 6,750 deadweight tonnage (DWT) vessels.



The ships are designed to achieve the lowest possible emission levels.



Like the EcoCoaster vessels Eeva VG and Mirva VG delivered in 2016, the Ecotraders can be operated with biofuel made from recycled raw material produced by Meriaura’s subsidiary VG-Ecofuel.



The Ecotrader vessels are approximately 30 percent larger than the EcoCoaster vessels.



This is to meet the market and customer needs, and the larger vessel size also improves the economic efficiency and lightens the environmental burden of transport.



“This order is a continuum in our series of investments to energy-efficient tonnage that utilizes bio-oil,” said Beppe Rosin, CEO of Meriaura. “In the current geopolitical situation, we found it best to order the ships from an established shipyard operating in Western Europe, which is also in line with our ESG strategy. Security of delivery, quality and the yard’s ability to comply with safety and environmental regulations, and our good experience with the previous newbuildings were the most important factors in our decision to choose Royal Bodewes as our shipbuilder again.”



The International Maritime Organization has set the goal for carbon-neutral shipping by or around 2050.



Meriaura’s climate strategy aims for carbon neutrality already in the 2030s.



“The two ships ordered now will start our newbuilding program that targets carbon neutrality remarkably faster than IMO’s target,” said Jussi Mälkiä, Meriaura’s founder and chairman. “Our purpose is to systematically renew our fleet with a series of newbuildings. The use of bio-oil combined with compensation enables us to reach this ambitious goal we have set.”



The investment is financed by Oma Säästöpankki Turku, LähiTapiola Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö and Climate Fund.



“We are grateful that Finnish financiers have come along to support the journey of a local shipping company towards carbon-neutral shipping,” Rosin said.



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