Viking Line Abp has signed an agreement with AGA Gas AB on supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Viking Line’s new passenger ferry, whose environmental profile symbolizes a new era in the shipping industry.

“Viking Line’s and AGA’s investment in LNG represents major environmental advantages compared to traditional maritime fuel,” says Mikael Backman, President and CEO of Viking Line.

Viking Line’s newbuilding “NB 1376”, recently named the M/S Viking Grace, will provide service on the Stockholm (Sweden) – Åland Islands (Finland) – Turku (Finland) route beginning in January 2013. The vessel, currently under construction at the STX Europe shipyard in Turku, will be Viking Line’s largest passenger ferry and will be powered by LNG. The liquefied gas will be stored in specially built tanks at the rear of the vessel and will have a temperature of about -150 degrees Celsius when it is bunkered and stored on board.

LNG contains neither sulphur nor heavy metals. By using this fuel a vessel reduces its carbon dioxide emissions by 20-30 per cent compared to oil. LNG meets the emission standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) directive, which states that the sulphur content of vessel fuel may not exceed 0.1 per cent by weight starting on January 1, 2015.

“Viking Line’s environmentally conscious investment is an important ‘flagship’ for the shipping industry and a cleaner Baltic Sea. Proximity to the LNG terminal, with flexible and reliable deliveries, as well as AGA’s knowledge of cryogenic, environmentally friendly fuel and bunkering technology makes AGA a natural partner in this pioneering project,” said Mikael Backman, President and CEO.