Israel’s Zim sets sight on large LNG-powered containerships

Israel’s Zim is looking to take on charter five ultra-large LNG-powered containerships in order to comply with the new IMO rules and slash emissions, joining its larger peers CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd.

Shipbuilding sources tell LNG Prime that an unidentified owner is in talks with several yards, including Chinese and Korean shipbuilders, as it plans to order five 15,000 TEU dual-fuel containerships that would go on charter to Zim.

The sources did not find reveal the name of the owner due to confidentiality reasons and as the talks are still in progress. If completed, the order could be worth more than $750 million.

LNG Prime contacted Zim for a comment but we did not receive a response by the time this article was published.

Riding the LNG-powered containership wave

Israel’s largest cargo shipping company Zim, which recently closed its first public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, is one of many owners looking to comply with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap on emissions.

But it seems that LNG-powered containerships are on top of the pyramid as the orders for these vessels keep growing.

CMA CGM already operates several LNG-powered containerships, including the 23,000 TEU giants, while Hapag-Lloyd recently ordered five 23,500+ TEU LNG-powered vessels at SHI for $1 billion.

The German liner is also converting a 15,000 TEU vessel to go on LNG in China which would help it decide on further conversions.

In addition, Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping has recently ordered six additional 15,000 TEU LNG-powered vessels at South Korea’s KSOE with a price tag of about $826 million.

KSOE’s unit Hyundai Samho is already building six LNG-powered neo-Panamax containerships for EPS.

This sextet will go on charter to CMA CGM that leads the LNG-powered containership surge and aims to have a fleet of 26 such vessels of various sizes by 2022.

Moreover, LNG Prime understands that the French firm could add even more LNG-powered vessels. The firm is currently looking to place an order for smaller dual-fuel ships, according to the sources.

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