Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest develops ecological short sea fleet and orders four environmentally-friendly vessels


The Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest shipping company has started to set up its own ecological short sea fleet. It has placed orders for the first four environmentally-friendly vessels known as ‘Hanse Eco Short Sea Coasters’. Construction work is expected to start in February 2020 and the ships are due to be delivered during the second half of 2021. The vessels are based on the latest developments related to environmental protection, digitalisation and design.

The ‘Hanse Eco’ fleet is the result of an initiative launched by Torsten Westphal, one of the founding members of Arkon Shipping. Developing a future-oriented short sea fleet provides a sustainable solution for shipbuilding that is designed to meet specific needs – and this work is taking place with its partner Rhenus, the long-standing market and industry expert.

As a result, Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest has developed its own ship standard for European short sea traffic. The ‘Hanse-Eco’ vessel will be about 90 metres long and have a load-carrying capacity of 4,200 tonnes. The cargo hold will be able to accommodate more than 5,500 cubic metres of goods.

“Our ‘Hanse-Eco’ fleet is pointing the way forward so that we can meet climate protection requirements and also make sensible use of the mega trend of digitalisation. We’re providing a high standard for European shipping 2.0 – from the planning stage right through to when the vessels are put into service,” says Torsten Westphal, Managing Shareholder of Rhenus-Arkon-Shipinvest.

The ‘Hanse-Eco’ vessels have a number of optimised features compared to traditional designs: having the bridge at the front provides a clear view during deck loading procedures and the innovative hull shape reduces fuel consumption. An enlarged hold length also makes it possible to transport project loads as well as classic bulk and break bulk cargo.

Alongside the water treatment systems, which will be mandatory from 2020 onwards, the eco-vessels are equipped with a hybrid ship’s propulsion system with an organic catalytic converter, support from an electrical motor and a waste gas after-treatment unit. This will not only meet the stipulations in the future IMO Tier III exhaust gas standard, but also significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and particulate matter as well as fuel consumption. The main engine can also use organic fuel.