Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) announced today that the company welcomed its first overseas liquid natural gas (LNG) transport ship to the VWGoA port in Davisville, R.I. The LNG-powered car carrier ship, named Siem Confucius, left Emden, Germany on June 16, 2020 to embark on its first voyage, which includes one stop in the U.S. before heading to the Gulf of Mexico. This is the company’s first in-service overseas carrier to operate on LNG.

The Siem Confucius is one in a pair of first-time trans-Atlantic LNG-fueled car carriers that Volkswagen Group and Siem Car Carriers AS unveiled in November 2019. Powered by LNG, considered a more sustainable form of energy than the standard diesel fuel typically used on traditional overseas car freighters, the new carriers help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is an important piece of the Group’s global decarbonization strategy.

“We are very excited to mark this occasion of the Siem Confucius arriving in the U.S.,” said Anu Goel, executive vice president, group after sales & services, VWGoA. “As a company, we are committed to an environmentally-friendly future. Adding two LNG-fueled carrier ships to our trans-Atlantic fleet is a big step and we look forward to continuing this momentum moving forward.”

Both ships have 13 car decks and the capacity to carry up to 4,800 Volkswagen Group vehicles at a time. The ship’s liquified gas tanks have a capacity of approximately 475,000 gallons each, which is enough for a complete round trip of the company’s standard 12,000-nautical mile America Round Tour shipping route.

“We are honored that the first U.S. stop for the LNG carrier is in Davisville,” said Mike Brokaw, port manager for Davisville. “It is an exciting step in the company’s evolution for our future and we are thrilled that so many of the U.S. ports can reap the benefits of this new technology.”

In addition to its visit to Davisville, the Siem Confucius also plans to make a stop in Veracruz, Mexico in advance of its return route to Emden. The new carriers will replace two of the original nine in the current fleet.