The process of retrofitting Sajir for LNG propulsion began at HuaRun DaDong Dockyard in Shanghai on 2 September.
Over the previous three weeks the vessel’s hold had been prepared for the LNG tank and in the coming weeks it will be welded into place.
The $35m conversion of the Sajir is expected to be completed, including initial test voyages, by early 2021. Thereafter the containership will be deployed on the Asia – Europe trade.
“With this unique pilot project, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this promising alternative fuel. However, our long-term goal continues to be CO2-neutral shipping operations using synthetic natural gas (SNG),” said Richard von Berlepsch, managing director fleet at Hapag-Lloyd.
LNG is seen as bridging fuel to meet the IMO’s 2050 GHG emission reduction targets for shipping, with the development of fuels such as SNG offering the possibility of meeting these targets over the longer term.
The hoisting of the fuel tank on the Sajir conversion coincides with CMA CGM taking delivery of the world’s largest LNG-powered containership, the 23,000 teu CMA CGM Jacques Saade, into its fleet.
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