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Port of Vigo will use LNG to decarbonize its Motorway of the Sea

The shipping company responsible for the Motorway of the Sea between Vigo and Saint Nazaire, Suardiaz Atlántica SL, has taken a step further in its commitment to decarbonizing the Atlantic Maritime Corridor and for a more sustainable connection between Bouzas Ro-Ro Terminal its counterpart in France. According to the Head of Suardiaz Juan Riva, the project presented is divided into three different lines of action: the decarbonization of the terminal, the construction of two LNG-powered ro-ro ships that would cover the route of the Motorway of the Sea, and the commitment to digitization.

Regarding the decarbonization of the terminal where Grupo Suardiaz currently operates in Vigo, and which serves the maritime lines of the Atlantic Corridor, Riva mentioned five main points: the replacement of tractor units with new, more environmentally sustainable technologies, such as LNG or hydrogen that would reduce the negative externalities of the transport of goods between the production/storage center of the Stellantis Group in Vigo and the port area of ​​Bouzas; the replacement of conventional work equipment at the Vigo Terminal with more efficient and better technologies for the environment; the generation of clean energy by installing photovoltaic panels at the shipping company in Bouzas; the creation of an infrastructure of refueling points for sustainable vehicles; and a ship transfer system with flexible cryogenic hoses, an LNG dispenser for heavy and light vehicles and a transfer system for tanker trucks.

The Suardiaz project also includes the construction of two ro-ro ships powered by LNG that would connect the North of Spain with the West of France on the Motorway of the Sea route. This maritime line, which was already the subject of subsidies by part of Brussels, has allowed approximately 15,000 trailers a year and 50,000 vehicles to be transferred from European roads to more environmentally efficient means, such as ships.

With this action, Suardiaz aims to contribute to a reduction of SOx emissions by 99%, compared to current vessels fueled with heavy fuel oil. Furthermore, NOx emissions would be reduced by 96% and CO2 emissions by around 50%.

The initiative is framed within the Blue Growth strategy that Vigo has led for almost five years and aligned with Next Generation funds, added the president of the Vigo Port Authority Jesús Vázquez Almuíña.

The Motorway of the Sea between Vigo and Saint Nazaire currently has a frequency of three departures per week and port, as well as an additional northbound departure. In other words, a total of four ships leave Vigo each week with the capacity to accommodate about 1,200 vehicles or 100 trailers on each trip to France. The vessels that cover this route are the “SuarVigo” and the “Bouzas”.

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