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Meriaura Group has started the preparation and design of a transport concept that targets to  100% carbon neutrality. The concept is based on hybrid propulsion that combines sustainably produced bio-oil and battery technology. In addition to innovative energy solutions, the aim is to automate the cargo handling process, and to take full advantage of the opportunities brought by digitalisation in all functions.

“Meriaura Group’s goal is to launch in 2024 the first transportation concept based on renewable energy since the era of large sailing ships,” says Jussi Mälkiä, President of Meriaura Group.

The concept takes into account the entire transport chain. Details and commercial operating model are in process and under development. The concept is designed especially for lake, canal and sea feeder traffic, and the plan is to pilot it in lake Saimaa. Saimaa canal locks are being extended and the size of the new concept vessel corresponds to the new Saimax dimensions.

“Lake Saimaa is a perfect pilot area for our concept. The region’s strong and progressive industry needs a clear transport route, which will be made possible by the extension of the canal locks. In the future’s competition, a cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport chain is needed to ensure the vitality of the Saimaa region,” says Mälkiä.

The project combines lessons learned from the group’s previous bio-oil projects. In addition, the aim is to achieve full 100% greenhouse gas neutrality as close as possible by utilizing electricity propulsion based on renewable energy and batteries.