United European Car Carriers (UECC),* owned equally by NYK and Wallenius Lines, held a naming ceremony on November 21 at the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, for Auto Eco, the world's first LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC). Auto Eco had been delivered to UECC on September 29.
The ceremony was attended by Geert Bourgeois, minister-president of the government of Flanders; Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment and Trade; Masafumi Ishii, Japan's ambassador to Belgium; Takao Kusakari, NYK senior advisor; and Koichi Chikaraishi, NYK senior managing corporate officer; among others.
Auto Eco is equipped with dual-fuel engines that can use either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil. The vessel is also a Finnish/Swedish ice class 1A super vessel, thus allowing for safe, full-year sailing in the Baltic Sea, where ice is common in winter.
UECC will make every effort to improve its services and reduce environmental loads through the use of this unique ship.