1,300-tonne LNG tank hoisted on board the “Sajir”

GALLERY: Hapag-Lloyd’s ultra large boxship gets its LNG bunker tank in landmark conversion

 LNG bunker tank being into Hapag-Lloyd's Sajir
LNG bunker tank being into Hapag-Lloyd’s Sajir; Image courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd

The world’s first conversion of a large container ship to LNG as fuel has hit a major milestone as an LNG bunker tank was lifted into Hapag-Lloyd’s Sajir boxship at the Chinese shipyard Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co.

Image courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd

The 6,500-cbm LNG Mark III tank was designed by the French LNG containment specialist GTT. The tank, weighing 1,300 tonnes, was hoisted into the Sajir by a floating crane last weekend.

1,300-tonne LNG tank hoisted on board the “Sajir”
Image courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd

The milestone is the result of 5 years of development together with Hapag-Lloyd and TECHNOLOG GmbH teams, GTT said on social media.

The company revealed earlier that the design of the project is based on the use of an exoskeleton-type structure which obtained a general approval for ship application (GASA) by DNV-GL in 2017.

The tank will now be welded to the hold in the weeks ahead. While this is happening, the main engine and the auxiliary diesel engines will be converted to dual-fuel operation for LNG and low-sulphur fuel oil.

MAN Energy Solutions has been tasked with the conversion of the vessel’s HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI.

The 15,000 TEU vessel arrived at the Shanghai yard on August 31 for the retrofit, which was set to start in May this year. The project was delayed due to the COVID-19 impact, marking its official start on September 2.

The conversion is expected to cost around $35 million and is slated for completion by the end of the year.

The project is the core of Hapag-Lloyd’s sustainability strategy, as using LNG has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 to 30 percent and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 90 percent.

“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 AG.

The Sajir is one of the 17 vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet that were originally designed to be LNG-ready.