Massive LNG-powered engine installed on Hapag-Lloyd’s 1st 23,660 TEU boxship

LNG engine
Image credit: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd’s colossal 23,660 TEU containership, which is taking shape in South Korea, has been fitted with a massive LNG-powered main engine, the German shipping major said.

The 2,246-tonne engine was installed with the help of a floating crane deployed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard (DSME).

According to Hapag-Lloyd, the new LNG-powered engine has a maximum power of 58.270 kW at 76.5 revolutions per minute.

The main engine, type MAN-HHI G95ME-C.10.5-GI, is of high-pressure type and will be able to operate also on ‘green LNG’ in the future, Hapag-Lloyd confirmed to Offshore Energy.

The engine will now undergo further work such as alignment of the shaft and mounting, which is expected to take place around three months. The construction milestone comes on the back of the keel-laying ceremony held in September.

The giant containership, to be named Hamburg Express, is part of a series of twelve dual-fuel LNG 23,500+ TEU vessels Hapag-Lloyd ordered in late 2020 and mid-2021. The total investment value of the twelve vessels stands at around $2 billion.

The investment came on the back of the company’s first conversion project of an LNG-ready ultra-large containership to LNG.

These are the company’s first newbuilds to be designed from the outset as dual-fuel vessels, meaning they can be operated with both conventional fuel oil and liquified natural gas.

Once completed, the 400-meter-long and 61-meter-wide newbuilds will be among the largest ships in the world.

The delivery of the containerships is set to start next year, with the first ship slated for delivery on 30 April 2023, and the last one on 31 December 2024.

Upon delivery, the newbuilds will be deployed on the Europe-Far East routes as part of THE Alliance.

Commenting recently on the shipping industry’s pathways toward a greener future, Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO Rolf Habben Jensen, said that ‘the verdict was still out’ on whether investing in LNG as marine fuel would be a good choice or not.

However, he explains that LNG will be just a part of the energy transition puzzle together with biofuels, carbon capture, and maybe even nuclear propulsion.

When you look at the future propulsion, we have invested in LNG-ready dual-fuel ships, and the first ones will be delivered next year. One can debate whether LNG was a good choice, and that kind of illustrates where the market is: nobody really knows. At the end of the day, there will not be a ‘one-solution-fits-all’. We will probably look at ammonia, methanol, and maybe at some point in time, also hydrogen,” Jensen said.

The German liner has set out to cut the CO2 intensity of its entire fleet by 30% by 2030 when compared to 2019 levels, and to become net-zero by 2045 by switching its ships to burn alternative fuels.

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