HGK Gas Shipping puts a new fleet highlight, the “GAS 95”, into service

Another vessel with an innovative design created by the experts at the HGK Shipping Design Center, the “GAS 95”, has been operating on the river Rhine since 8 February.

With its low emissions – thanks to its diesel-electric drive system – its forward-looking design through its “future-fuel-ready” layout, the gas tanker underlines the ingenuity of the company, as, thanks to the consistent optimisation of its draught capacity, it is able to operate reliably, even when water levels are low.

It is already the second gas tanker of this type, which HGK Gas Shipping GmbH has put into service. It is helping to promote the sustainable development of inland waterway shipping as one of the most modern vessels operating on the waterways.

The “GAS 95” will operate on the river Rhine sporting the HGK red livery – and a vivid green colour for the first time. The sustainable concept of the vessel’s design can be recognised from a distance thanks to the new paintwork – and it is underlined by the lettering, “Driving Sustainability”, which is also featured on both the port and starboard sides.

The “GAS 95” also has a diesel-electric drive system, building on the new vessels that HGK Shipping has designed and put into service during the last few months and the experience that it has gained as a result.

The good performance of the “GAS 94”, which has been strengthening the company’s gas fleet for more than two years now, helped reinforce this decision.

The diesel-electric drive system, which is used, reduces the CO2 emissions produced by the gas tanker by up to a further 30% per tonne/kilometre in comparison with the benchmarks for inland waterway shipping.

The output of particulate matter and other pollutants has also been significantly reduced.

The installed power management system has been further refined recently and it also reduces the consumption of fuel to an even greater degree. Just like other new vessels created by the HGK Shipping Design Center, the “GAS 95” is already prepared for future technology developments and can be described as “future-fuel-ready”.

At the same time, the vessel can be used in an extremely flexible manner. The “GAS 95” is the first gas tanker that has extremely effective draught optimisation, despite its standard dimensions with a length of 110 metres and its width measuring 11.45 metres – and yet it can still operate on canals.

It is therefore possible to guarantee continuous transport operations on the river Rhine, even during phases when water levels are extremely shallow. With a maximum payload capacity of more than 2,300 cubic metres, the vessel can transport more than 300 tonnes, even if the water is just 1.30 deep and it can therefore still get past well-known bottlenecks such as Kaub or Oestrich, if water levels are critical.

The minimum navigable draught is even lower and unique for the specifications of the vessel. The new gas tanker will operate between the ARA ports and various staging points along the river Rhine.

“The ‘GAS 95’ meets the highest environmental and safety standards. As a result, the company can offer our customers the next building block for a more sustainable and more reliable supply chain on inland waterways,” said Anke Bestmann, the managing director of HGK Gas Shipping GmbH.

“We’re doing our very best to further improve our business and expand our gas fleet in a sustainable way. We’ve already had some of our vessels certified with the Green Award as the evidence of our efforts to promote clean and safe inland waterway shipping. We’re planning this for the ‘GAS 95’ too during the next few months.”

HGK Gas Shipping is also regularly demonstrating its credentials in the ratings published by the independent and internationally recognised CSR rating agency, EcoVadis – these reflect its ongoing commitment to the field of sustainability. It was able to gain gold status in 2023, although it was only two points short of reaching platinum level.

An order has already been placed for the next new diesel-electric vessel for the gas fleet, which will be optimised to operate in shallow waters too, the “GAS 96”. More vessels are also being planned.