European shipowner splashes $220 million on methanol-ready boxships at HJ Shipbuilding

South Korean shipbuilder HJ Shipbuilding & Construction (HJSC) has secured a contract worth $220 million with an undisclosed European shipping company to construct two eco-friendly methanol-ready 7,900 TEU containerships, with an option for an additional two ships, which could potentially raise the total contract value to $432 million.

Illustration. Courtesy of HJ Shipbuilding

According to HJ Shipbuilding, the ships will measure 272 meters in length and 42.8 meters in width and be able to cruise at 22 knots. Construction of these ships will take place at the Yeongdo Shipyard, with deliveries set to commence in 2026.

The 7,900 TEU container ships will feature an eco-friendly design and will be optimized for fuel efficiency and maximum container capacity to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) environmental regulations. 

In addition, the ships will come equipped with an SOx scrubber exhaust gas desulfurization system and will be constructed as methanol-ready, allowing for potential transition to carbon-neutral operations in the future by using methanol as a fuel.

“This contract reflects our dedicated efforts to develop and secure orders for eco-friendly, high-value-added ships that set industry trends. We are committed to meeting our clients’ expectations with top-quality vessels and timely delivery, thereby fostering trust and loyalty,” said an official from HJ Shipbuilding.

While the shipowner behind the order was not revealed, some media reports have linked Greece-based dry cargo vessel owner and operator Navios Maritime Partners with this shipbuilding contract. Offshore Energy has reached out for the comment and is yet to receive a response.

When it comes to HJ Shipbuilding-related news, it is worth mentioning several methanol-ready ship orders and deliveries. These include the shipbuilding contract with Korean company HMM for two 9,000 TEU containerships powered by methanol dual-fuel engines.

In 2023, the Korean shipbuilder also constructed two eco-friendly green methanol-ready 5,500 TEU containerships for Hamburg-based asset and investment manager MPC Capital AG.

In 2024, Norwegian container tonnage provider MPC Container Ships (MPCC) christened two green methanol-ready 5,500 TEU containerships built by HJ Shipbuilding in South Korea.