Hapag-Lloyd’s and the world’s first ultra-large containership LNG retrofit left China’s Huarun Dadong yard to begin sea trials on Monday.
In addition, the 15,000 TEU Sajir also sets out with a new name, Brussels Express.
LNG Prime understands that the trials should last about a week.
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.
The German firm tapped CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua, a shareholder in Huarun Dadong, for the conversion project back in 2019.
The world’s first large contairneship conversion to LNG power has a price tag of about $35 million.
Moreover, 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.
Hapag-Lloyd inherited the LNG-ready Sajir, now Brussels Express, after its takeover of UASC back in 2017. Its 16 sister ships are also LNG-ready and fit for retrofitting.
The German firm plans the ships’ redeployment in the Asia-North Europe trade lane during the first quarter of this year.
Building LNG-powered fleet
Besides this conversion, Hapag-Lloyd recently revealed 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 and Hapag-Lloyd said it already secured the financing.
Additionally, Daewoo will deliver the giant LNG-powered ships between April and December 2023.
Hapag-Lloyd will deploy these ships on the Europe-Far East routes as part of The Alliance, a shipping consortium consisting of the German liner, ONE, Yang Ming, and HMM.
With this order, Hapag-Lloyd joins its peer CMA CGM that already operates a fleet of ultra large LNG-powered container vessels.