Hapag-Lloyd’s LNG containership retrofit sets out for gas trials

Hapag-Lloyd’s Brussels Express, previously known as Sajir, has left the yard in China for gas trials, ahead of its delivery to the owner.

To remind, the world’s first ultra-large containership LNG retrofit returned to the yard on February 6 following the completion of its sea trials.

The 15,000 TEU vessel departed Hudong-Zhonghua’s outfitting quay on Changxing Island, Shanghai on Monday to start its gas trials.

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd selected Hudong-Zhonghua for the conversion project back in 2019. Hudong is a shareholder in Huarun Dadong that is in charge of the project.

Gas trials usually last about a week, but they could take longer – depending on how the dual-fuel engine behaves and taking into account that this marks the first such project.

Hapag-Lloyd previously said it plans the ships’ redeployment during the first quarter, however, this could move to early April.

The vessel arrived at the Huarun Dadong 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, 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.

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