Hapag-Lloyd puts into service world’s first LNG containership retrofit

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd has started using the world’s first ultra-large containership LNG retrofit on its Asia-North Europe trade lane.

The 15,000 TEU Brussels Express, previously known as Sajir, was on Tuesday located in the Port of Busan in South Korea, its AIS data shows.

According to Hapag-Lloyd’s schedule for the vessel posted on its website, Brussels Express should reach Rotterdam around May 9. Prior to that, it will sail again to China followed by a call in Singapore on April 17.

The 15,000 TEU vessel completed gas trials last week and departed from Hudong-Zhonghua’s outfitting quay on Changxing Island, Shanghai to South Korea.

LNG Prime understands that Hudong and Huarun Dadong delivered the vessel to the owner last week.

To remind, Hapag-Lloyd selected Hudong for the conversion project back in 2019 while Huarun Dadong, where Hudong is a shareholder, was in charge of the development.

The vessel now features a GTT 6,500-cbm LNG fuel tank and MAN dual-fuel propulsion. It will primarily sail on LNG with low-sulphur fuel oil as a backup.

Total costs for the containership conversion to LNG power reached about $35 million, according to Hapag-Lloyd.

This pilot project will help Hapag-Lloyd to decide on future LNG conversions but also paves the way for other owners looking to slash emissions and comply with more stringent IMO rules.

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