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Thursday, December 3, 2020 

Volkswagen Group Logistics is to use certified fuel from vegetable residues in its PCTC vessels for certain new car shipments, burning fuel produced from materials such as used cooking oil and food waste.

The first car freighter was re-fuelled for the first time with this oil in mid-November 2020 and a second ship is due to follow at the beginning of 2021.

Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics, said: “We are the first automaker to make widespread use of this fuel. This way, we reuse waste oil in an environmentally compatible way. With 85% lower CO2 emissions than with conventional fossil fuels, the contribution to climate protection is enormous.”

For European shipments, Volkswagen Group Logistics continuously charters two vessels which carry up to 3,500 vehicles on a route from Emden via Dublin (Ireland), Santander (Spain) and Setubal (Portugal) back to Emden about 50 times per year. In the course of their journeys, they carry about 250,000 new vehicles of the AUDI, SEAT, ŠKODA, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands every year.

The two ships, which are both 180m long, are each powered by an MAN B&W diesel engine of more than 14,220kW. In future, the two ships are to be refueled at sea off the coast of Vlissingen (Netherlands) with alternative fuel supplied by Dutch company GoodFuels. This way, the CO2 emissions of the two conventional vessels along their route will be reduced by more than 85% – from over 60,000t to about 9,000t/year. In addition, sulphur oxide emissions will be almost completely avoided.

This is part of a strategy to make VW Group Logistics greener: another element is the use of LNG to power car freighters travelling between Europe, North America and Latin America. Furthermore, all rail shipments in Germany with DB Cargo are being changed over to eco-power. “This way, Volkswagen Group Logistics is helping the Group achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Zernechel.

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