Shell starts fueling Hapag-Lloyd’s LNG-powered giants in Rotterdam

Shell has started delivering liquefied natural gas to Hapag-Lloyd’s giant LNG-powered containerships in the Dutch port of Rotterdam under a deal signed earlier this year.

According to a social media post by Shell’s head of downstream LNG, Tahir Faruqui, Shell has in September completed the first bunkering of the 23,500-teu Berlin Express and its sister ship Manilla Express in Rotterdam.

Shell delivered LNG fuel to Berlin Express with the 3000-cbm bunkering barge LNG London.

Launched in July 2019, Shell charters this barge from a joint venture consisting of Belgium’s Victrol and French Sogestran and loads LNG at the Gate import terminal in Rotterdam.

In February this year, the UK-based LNG giant agreed to bunker Hapag-Lloyd’s 12 LNG-powered containerships in the port of Rotterdam.

Previously, the two firms collaborated on LNG bunkering of Brussels Express, the world’s first large container ship that was converted to LNG propulsion.

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd first ordered six LNG dual-fuel containerships from Hanwha Ocean, previously known as DSME, in 2020, and it added six more sister vessels in 2021. The orders have a total price tag of about $2 billion.

The shipping firm plans to take delivery of all of these vessels in 2023 and 2024.

They are about 400 meters long and 61 meters wide and feature MAN ME-GI main engines.

Hapag-Lloyd took delivery of the first LNG dual-fuel newbuild, Berlin Express, on June 13 and the second vessel, Manila Express, on August 3.

In July, Berlin Express completed its first LNG bunkering operation in China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port.

Berlin Express arrived at its home port Hamburg last week and Hapag-Lloyd said it will christen the LNG-powered ship on October 2 in the German port.

Hapag-Lloyd said this is the largest containership ever to sail under German flag.

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