KSOE lands colossal order for 12 methanol-powered boxships

South Korean shipbuilding major Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) has won an order for the construction of twelve very large container ships from an unnamed European shipping company.

Maersk containership
Image credit Maersk

The vessels will be built by KSOE’s subsidiary Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and the contract is worth KRW 2.52 trillion ($2 billion).

KSOE said that the ships would be delivered by the end of 2026.

According to Yonhap, the containerships will be powered by methanol.

Unconfirmed shipbroker reports have linked French CMA CGM to the order.

Methanol has several advantages over traditional fuels, including a lower carbon footprint, lower emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides, and improved combustion efficiency. Additionally, methanol can be produced from a range of feedstocks, including renewable resources, making it a potentially sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

However, methanol still faces some challenges as a fuel for shipping, including limited availability and infrastructure, and potential safety and handling issues.

2022 has been a stellar year for methanol as an alternative fuel for ships as owners look for solutions to decarbonize their fleets. Based on the data from DNV, there are currently a total of 82 methanol-powered ships in operation and on order.

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Out of the total number of methanol-powered ships, the container shipping sector dominates the orderbook with 47 methanol-powered ships on order. Almost half of these have been ordered by industry major Maersk which has announced the construction start of its first 16,000 TEU methanol-powered boxship.

 KSOE’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has been chosen by Maersk to undertake the massive task of building the vessels.

Another notable name in the sector CMA CGM joined the bandwagon with an order for six 15,000 TEU dual-fuel methanol-powered containerships slated for delivery by the end of 2025. The company did not reveal the name of the shipbuilder at the time.

China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings upped the ante in October 2022 with the order for the construction of twelve 24,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel containerships worth $2.87 billion. Nevertheless, COSCO has chosen local yards to complete the undertaking.