The Finns chart a new course with the Electramar ship. Shipyards from the EU in the wake

By Marek Grzybowski

The Finns are setting a new course in environmentally friendly shipping. They are introducing hybrid 90-meter ships for transporting bulk cargo to the Baltic and North Sea. They order a series of 12 units from India, bypassing European and Far Eastern shipyards.
In mid-May, “Electramar”, the first of twelve commercial ships with hybrid propulsion, was officially named. The ceremony was organized by its operator AtoB@C Shipping, a subsidiary of ESL Shipping. The ceremony took place in central Helsinki on May 15. The ship reached the capital of Finland via the route around the Cape of Good Hope from India.
The ship was built at the Chowgule shipyard in India. Electramar is a ship that, according to the shipowner, emits up to 50% less CO2 compared to ships of similar dimensions with traditional propulsion.
In mid-April, the ship arrived in Lulea, Sweden. After unloading in Lulea, the ship was put into service with AtoB-C Shipping in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe.

The first in the Baltic Sea
– We are extremely happy to finally have the first ship in our home waters, ready to serve our customers. It was a long journey for the crew and we want to thank them for their resilience and dedication, emphasized Frida Rowland, Commercial Director of AtoB@C Shipping & ESL Shipping, after the ship’s arrival in the Baltic Sea.
The series of 12 units ordered in India will be built in the years 2023–2026 at the Chowgule Shipyard Pvt Ltd. Each ship (5,350 dwt), almost 90 m long (LOA) and approximately 16 m wide, will be equipped with a main drive, which is an engine Yanmar with a power of 1,920 kW and electric drive.
The ship has an ice class of 1A. Maneuvering will be facilitated by a 300 kW bow thruster. The ship stands out because it is equipped with a 1 MWh battery pack and the ability to connect to shore power. The ship can take on board 100 TEU or 50 FEU containers. The deck load was calculated at 1.75 mt/m2 (aft cargo deck and hatch covers), and the line load was 30 mt (TEU) or 45 mt (FEU).
The cargo space is 7,650 m3. The ship is designed to transport a wide range of bulk and general cargo products. The operator informs that the ordered ships will transport steel, forest products, fertilizers and oversized cargo. The shipowner emphasizes that “the ship has a long deck without obstacles, which allows loading more deck cargo and longer cargo than currently used ships.

Around the Cape of Good Hope
Stellamar is already sailing to Finland. This is the second ship in this series to leave the shipyard in India. Production of the ninth unit, Fleximar, began in April this year. steel cutting ceremony.
The godmother of the first ship in the series is Paula Ojala, charter manager at SSAB. This steel concern is a long-term client of both AtoB@C Shipping and ESL Shipping.
– The collaboration between SSAB, ESL Shipping and AtoB@C Shipping has a rich, decades-long history and I am deeply honored to be the godmother of this extraordinary, energy-efficient ship, said Paula Ojala after the christening ceremony.
– Both the steel and shipping industries are entering a new era in which fuels are gradually replaced by more sustainable alternatives. SSAB is one of the forerunners in the green steel production industry and we are pleased with the opportunity that an SSAB representative is the godmother of the ship,” emphasized Mikki Koskinen, managing director of ESL Shipping and president of the management board of AtoB@C Shipping AB.

From the Chowgule shipyard to the Baltic Sea
– I would like to thank all parties involved in this successful project. It’s great to return to the Chowgule Shipyard and witness the tremendous progress made in the construction of these state-of-the-art ships. Our customers’ demand for a modern and sustainable fleet is growing day by day and we look forward to being able to respond to this demand soon,” said Frida Rowland as Electramar entered the equipment phase.
The shipowner emphasizes that Electramar is the most modern ship in its fleet. Thanks to the ability to connect to shore power, a large battery bank and more efficient load handling, the ship also ensures quieter and cleaner operation in the port.
ESL Shipping is a dry bulk carrier in the Baltic Sea region. The operator has been operating on the market for over 70 years and is a subsidiary of Aspo Plc. The combined fleet of ESL Shipping and AtoB@C Shipping consists of over 40 ships with a capacity of 4,000. up to 56 thousand dwt.
The entire ESL fleet is ice-class, which allows it to transport cargo and raw materials all year round, even in difficult hydrometeorological and ice conditions. AtoB@C Shipping was founded in 2000 and has been part of ESL Shipping since 2018.
The Finnish operator is another shipowner who transferred the contract for a series of ships to Asia. This time the beneficiary is a shipyard from India. Hybrid and ice class vessels are being built at Chowgule Shipyard Pvt Ltd. This is important information for European producers that a new ship production market is being created, competitive for EU producers, including Poland.