Mercuria joins efforts with ÈTA Shipping towards a sustainable short sea shipping
Global energy and commodity group Mercuria, in collaboration with maritime innovator ÈTA Shipping, has unveiled a significant partnership aimed at expediting the shift towards eco-friendly short-sea shipping. This joint venture involves the construction of an initial six vessels (with an option for ten more) engineered for peak efficiency. The construction will be undertaken by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co., Ltd.
Mare Balticum BV, a subsidiary of Mercuria, will possess these cutting-edge vessels, with ÈTA Shipping participating as a minority shareholder. The inaugural voyage of the first vessel is slated for the second quarter of 2025.
ÈTA Shipping was established to revolutionize cargo ship design, bolstering both efficiency and operational methods. The ÈTA 6700 vessel features a modular design devoid of a main engine, powered instead by an electric motor. Generators fueled by conventional or low carbon fuels provide electricity, and compatibility with sustainable power sources like batteries or fuel-cell technology offers zero-emission options.
ÈTA Shipping founders Sam Gombra and Walter van Gruijthuijsen derived the name from the Greek letter η (ÈTA), symbolizing efficiency, a central theme in vessel design.
Efficiency Through Adaptability
“The modular design facilitates easy power source replacement, allowing for a switch to any electricity-producing mechanism,” co-founder Sam Gombra explains. “This transformation, whether full or partial, can be accomplished in less than a day, eliminating the need for shipyard assistance.”
The ÈTA 6700 boasts enhanced efficiency without compromising speed or cargo capacity. With a cargo capacity of 7400 tons deadweight and just under 5000 gross tonnage, the vessel can attain 10.5 knots while fully laden, using under 900 KW of power. This makes it the most efficient Ice 1A vessel in its class.
Automation plays a pivotal role in efficiency and maritime safety, enabling streamlined operations with a reduced crew size of four instead of six. The vessel’s 3D management tool employs over 1,300 sensors, facilitating virtual navigation, equipment data access, and historical trend analysis.
Pioneering Energy Transition
Investing in ÈTA Shipping and the ÈTA 6700 vessel series positions Mercuria to accelerate the shift towards carbon-neutral shipping, aligning with their energy transition agenda. Unique attributes include future-proof design, efficiency, and automation, making ÈTA vessels 30% more efficient than conventional new builds and about 50% more efficient than typical legacy fleet vessels.
In a time of uncertainty regarding future zero-carbon maritime fuels, flexibility remains paramount for future technology choices.
“The inherent flexibility in ÈTA 6700 design allows tailored decarbonization paths optimized to specific cargo owner or operator needs,” stated Larry Johnson, Global Head of Freight and Shipping Trading at Mercuria. “We can adapt as viable technical solutions emerge.”
Both Mercuria and ÈTA Shipping are steadfast in their commitment to lead the charge towards greener, more efficient shipping. Through collaboration with stakeholders, the partners aim to expand the fleet and make a lasting impact on the maritime industry.
Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co., Ltd was chosen to construct the ÈTA 6700 vessels due to their flexible and innovative approach. The shipyard views this partnership as an excellent opportunity to bring ÈTA Shipping’s groundbreaking vessel design to life, fostering sustainable short-sea shipping.
Source Mercuria Energy Trading