The new order brings to 12 the number of 23,500 teu ships that Hapag-Lloyd has on order following a similar contract for six newbuildings at the end of 2020.
“With this investment in the additional newbuildings, we want to take another step in the ongoing modernisation of our fleet – in terms of both ship size and sustainability,” says Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd. “At the same time, we want to meet the persistently high demand and reduce our slot costs.”
The container shipping sector has seen a huge surge in newbuilding orders as the sector faces unprecedented congestion at ports, which have created a shortage of capacity, in turn driving container freight rates to record levels.
The large containerships will be outfitted with high-pressure dual-fuel engine that will operate on LNG, but the vessels will also have sufficient tank capacity to operate on conventional fuel as an alternative.
Hapag-Lloyd is focusing on LNG as a medium-term solution, as it reduces CO2 emissions by around 15% to 25% and emissions of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter by more than 90%, and provides a pathway to decarbonisation. The medium-term goal is to have ships that operate in a climate-neutral way using synthetic natural gas (SNG).
The six additional ships have been financed via a 12 year- $852m-syndicated green loan being backed by the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-SURE), and the syndicate consists of 10 banks.
The vessels will be deployed on the Europe-Far East routes as part of THE Alliance and will thereby significantly boost Hapag-Lloyd’s competitiveness in this trade.
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