Hapag-Lloyd to start using world’s first LNG containership retrofit

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd will soon put in use the world’s first ultra-large containership LNG retrofit to serve its Asia-North Europe trade lane.

The 15,000 TEU Brussels Express, previously known as Sajir, has returned to China’s Huarun Dadong yard following completion of its sea trials.

To remind, LNG Prime reported on the start of the trials in late January. The converted vessel returned to the yard on February 6.

The vessel will now set out for gas trials prior to delivery to its owner.

Hapag-Lloyd previously said it plans the ships’ redeployment during the first quarter.

To remind, the vessel arrived at the Shanghai yard on August 31 last year for works including the installation of a GTT 6,500-cbm LNG fuel tank and the conversion of the main MAN engine and the auxiliary diesel engines to dual-fuel.

This includes LNG and low-sulphur fuel oil as a backup.

Moreover, Hapag-Lloyd tapped CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua, a shareholder in Huarun Dadong, for the conversion project back in 2019.

The containership conversion to LNG power has a price tag of about $35 million.

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.

Besides this conversion, Hapag-Lloyd recently announced an order for six ultra-large LNG-powered container vessels at South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

The order for the 23,500+ TEU vessels has a price tag of about $1 billion.

Hapag-Lloyd revealed this week its first green financing deal that would go towards funding of these LNG-powered giants.

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