Finnish Climate Fund lends €6.8 million to Meriaura for the expansion of low-carbon technologies in shipping

The Climate Fund has decided on a junior loan of €6.8 million to the shipping company Meriaura for their fleet renewal programme to support the adoption of low-carbon shipping solutions. In the emission-intensive freight industry, more efficient vessels powered by renewable fuels have the potential to lead the way to emissions reductions across the sector.

Maritime transport accounts for roughly 3 % of global carbon dioxide emissions and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a target to reach net-zero GHG emissions by or around 2050. Without action, the emissions generated by maritime transport are projected to increase, even double.

Meriaura has commissioned two bio-oil-powered hybrid cargo ships with a tonnage of 6,750 from the Royal Bodewes Shipyard in the Netherlands. The ships can achieve emissions reductions of up to 98 % compared to traditional cargo ships powered by fossil fuels. In addition to the use of renewable fuels, emissions reductions can be achieved through more efficient engine technology as well as the utilisation of waste heat, batteries or wind power.

The two ships we have ordered will launch our fleet renewal programme with which Meriaura aims to become carbon neutral within a quick timeframe. We aim to systematically renew our fleet with a series of new ships. The use of bio-oil, combined with carbon offsetting, enables us to achieve the goal of being carbon neutral already in the 2030s,” Jussi Mäkiä, Meriaura’s founder and Chairman of the Board, explains.

Maritime transport plays a key role in logistics in Finland and customers striving for carbon neutrality contribute to the pressure of the industry to renew and adopt new technologies.

With regard to maritime transport, emission-reduction solutions range from the electrification of short-haul ships to using renewable fuels or e.g. rotor sails in cross-ocean cargo ships. Technology develops with each new generations of ships – which boosts the industry’s decarbonisation even further. As the sector accounts for a significant proportion of global carbon dioxide emissions, it is natural for the Finnish Climate Fund to fund a range of solutions such as our commencing cooperation with Meriaura, known for their environmental focus,” says Toni Mikkonen, Acting CEO of the Finnish Climate Fund.

Meriaura’s solution

Founded in 1986, Meriaura is a Turku-based maritime shipping company that specialises in the sea transportation of industrial products, raw materials as well as demanding special cargo. The company’s cargo ships operate in Europe, mainly in the Baltic and North Sea.

Since the company’s founding, Meriaura has strived to provide maritime transport services that are as environmentally friendly as possible through its selection of ships and measures that promote operational efficiency. Meriaura’s objective is to provide 1.5 Mt of near-carbon-neutral shipping capacity by 2026. The commissioned ships reduce emissions by consuming less fuel and using mainly renewable green fuels.

The fuel solution used in the new ships is based on Meriaura’s own research and development, and it has been successfully applied in Meriaura’s existing ships that are designed to run on bio-oil.

The bio-oil is produced from waste and recycled raw materials sourced from Finland and it’s an ICSS-certified product. The total cumulative ten-year emissions reduction potential of the two ships is 50,3 kt CO2-eq. In addition to the emissions reductions, Meriaura’s fleet renewal programme has significant impact by demonstrating the adoption of low-emission technologies to other maritime shipping companies.

The two ships are estimated to cost approximately €34 million. In addition to the €6.8 million junior loan provided by the Climate Fund on market terms, the investments will be covered by equity and bank financing.

More information

Saara Mattero, Communications and Sustainability Director, the Climate Fund, tel. +358 400 114 777,

Beppe Rosin, CEO, Meriaura Ltd, tel. +358 50 557 4323,

The Finnish Climate Fund is a Finnish state-owned special-assignment company. Its operations focus on combating climate change, boosting low-carbon industry and promoting digitalisation. The Climate Fund invests in large-scale projects in which the fund’s investment is crucial to enable the project’s realisation in the first place, on a larger scale or earlier than it would with funding from elsewhere.

Founded in 1986, Meriaura Ltd is a significant sea transporter of dry freight and demanding special cargo in Northern Europe, particularly in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Currently, the company’s fleet of cargo ships consists of 12 dry cargo ships and two multipurpose vessels. The company’s core values are customer orientation and promoting environmentally friendly sea transport. Through long-term testing and regular use in its own fleet, Meriaura has verified the usability of 100% biofuel sourced from recycled raw materials in sea transport. Meriaura is part of the listed Meriaura Group.

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