Seaspan, Hapag-Lloyd to retrofit five 10,100 TEU boxships to methanol propulsion

Hong Kong-based containership owner Seaspan Corporation and German container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd have entered into a partnership agreement to retrofit and convert five 10,100 TEU containerships powered by conventional S90 engines to dual-fuel engines capable of running on methanol.

Illustration. Courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd

Following the engine retrofit, the vessels will continue to be on long-term charter from Seaspan to Hapag-Lloyd.

The boxships scheduled for retrofits are the Seaspan Amazon, Seaspan Ganges, Seaspan Thames, Seaspan Yangtze, and Seaspan Zambezi. 

Retrofitting constitutes a necessary and major component of emissions abatement and it is an effective way to extend the operational lifetime of the existing fleet while delivering fuel flexibility to customers.

German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions will deliver the retrofit solutions, and each conversion can result in a CO2 reduction of 50,000 –70,000 tonnes each year when operating on green methanol, according to Seaspan.

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Each retrofit is expected to take approximately 80-90 days per vessel starting in the first quarter of 2026. The total investment is estimated at around $120 million for the five units.

“The methanol retrofit project is a further step in our ambitious sustainability agenda, which aims to achieve the decarbonisation of the entire fleet by 2045. By enabling these vessels to use green methanol as of 2026, we will meet our customers’ growing demand for green transportation solutions,” Maximilan Rothkopf, Hapag-Lloyd’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), said.

“This project signifies the collaborative spirit of the marine industry to advance decarbonization by improving the performance of in-service conventional vessels. Retrofitting existing vessels is a critical lever in global decarbonization efforts. Not only do we transition to greener fuels, but we save the additional resources needed to build new vessels,” Torsten Holst Pedersen, Chief Operating Officer of Seaspan, commented.

In related news, Danish shipping giant Maersk recently started what it describes as “the world’s first” methanol dual-fuel conversion project.

Last month, Chinese shipbuilding company Zhoushan Xinya Shipyard commenced the retrofitting process of Maersk Halifax, a 14,000 TEU containership, to enable the vessel to run on methanol.

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