MPCC presses ahead with fleet renewal and decarbonization

Norwegian feeder vessel owner MPC Container Ships (MPCC) has unveiled new strategic initiatives that will significantly accelerate the company’s long-term journey towards fleet renewal and decarbonization.

In the first initiative, MPCC has partnered with Danish short sea operator Unifeeder in a joint investment for the construction of a 1,250 TEU dual-fuel methanol newbuilding.

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Scheduled for delivery in late 2026, this vessel will be under a seven-year time-charter agreement with Unifeeder post-delivery, significantly mitigating residual value risks.

“The structure of this investment underscores MPCC’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, while protecting long-term shareholder value,” the company said.

What is more, as part of its comprehensive retrofit program for 2024, MPCC has entered into joint retrofit agreements with various charter customers. Under these agreements, both the charterer and MPCC will share the costs of retrofit investments followed by an extension of the vessels time-charter contracts.

This collaborative effort reduces open charter positions, increases contract coverage for 2024 and beyond and enhances the overall efficiency of the fleet, in alignment with MPCC’s strategic objectives, according to MPCC.

“These most recent initiatives align with MPCC’s strategy for fleet renewal and optimization, positioning the company as a fuel-agnostic early-mover and knowledge partner in fostering a more sustainable shipping industry. Through these selective investments, MPCC not only aims to reduce its carbon footprint but also to create long-term shareholder value by extending charters and enhancing the long-term competitiveness of its fleet, while remaining committed to its low-leverage strategy and distribution policy,” the company explained.

Back in 2022, MPCC initiated a long-term investment project for containerships with methanol propulsion. The project, developed in cooperation with Norway’s Wilhelmsen Group, is part of a series of activities carried out by MPCC to decarbonize the maritime sector.

The methanol for the ships is to be produced in a largely CO2-neutral manner in Norway and other regions. Together with the partners NCL and Elkem, the goal is to establish the first “green corridor” in Northern Europe, enabling climate-neutral freight transport from shipper to recipient.

The first methanol-ready unit from the batch was named in South Korea in August last year.

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The ships are planned for delivery later this year, with the use of green methanol expected to cut CO2 emissions by 60-95%.