Wellard ex-boss Balzarini champions LNG plans

Zach RelphCountryman
Former Wellard chief executive Mauro Balzarini, pictured in 2015.
Camera IconFormer Wellard chief executive Mauro Balzarini, pictured in 2015. Credit: Ian Ferguson

The man who once oversaw Perth-based livestock carrier Wellard has unveiled plans to develop liquified natural gas-powered vessels to make the live shipping trade “more sustainable”.

On Monday, former Wellard chief executive Mauro Balzarini — who left the embattled livestock exporter in June — announced his new venture, NextSeaWell.

The newly designed vessels, which will run on LNG, are poised to reduce the ship’s carbon dioxide emissions about 30 per cent while drastically slashing sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide output.

The proposed ships will also have the capacity to carry about 11,000 head of cattle and feature livestock service systems to maintain lower deck temperatures to reduce heat-stress.

A design phase is under way, with testing and validation scheduled.

Mr Balzarini said innovation would play a crucial role in improving the live shipping industry’s animal welfare and environmental performance.

“Ships that I designed and built many years ago are still considered the best in the world only due to the fact they were very innovative during their initial designs,” he said.

“However,Considering the average age of vessels in the water is around 20 years, there is a need to design even more innovative ships to combat changing emission regulations.

“We also need to show the public that we are invested in improving standards to make livestock trade more sustainable and in the best interests of Australian producers and exporters.”

The announcement comes after Wellard told shareholders in June it was parting ways with Mr Balzarini, ending 40 years of his family’s involvement.

Mr Balzarini’s father Emilio founded Wellard in 1979.

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