World’s first LNG containership retrofit sets out for trials

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.

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