The contract to retrofit the 15,000 teu Sajir was signed in Hudong HONDHOA Shipbuilding (Group) last week and will be carried out at Shanghai-based shipyard Huarun Dadong Dockyard.
Once the conversion is completed the Sajir will have dual fuel capability and also be able to run on low sulphur oil as a back-up.
“By converting the ‘Sajir’, we will be the first shipping company in the world to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion,” said Richard von Berlepsch, managing director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. “By carrying out this unprecedented pilot, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this alternative fuel.”
By running the vessel on LNG sulphur emissions will be reduced to zero and CO2 emissions by 15 – 30%.
Hapag-Lloyd has seventeen 15,000 teu and 18,800 teu LNG-ready vessels delivered between 2014 and 2016 having been ordered by UASC.
The newbuilds were seen at the time as acting as a catalyst for the use of LNG as marine fuel, with the Middle East based line exploring LNG fueling options with Qatar and Shell. However, following the merger of UASC into Hapag-Lloyd there had been no move until to convert any of the vessels to run on LNG.
CMA CGM has become the standard bearer for LNG as a marine fuel in the container sector ordering nine 22,000 teu LNG-powered newbuildings.