SWS strikes deal for eight methanol-powered 9,200 TEU boxships

Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), has signed a contract for the construction of eight methanol-powered 9,200 TEU containerships.

Credit: SWS

As disclosed, the deal, together with China Shipbuilding Industry Trading Co., was inked with a renowned European shipowner. The vessels are probably intended for French shipping giant CMA CGM. The firm has earlier booked twelve 15,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel powered large containerships at CSSC.

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According to SWS, the boxships will have a total length of 299.9 meters, a width of 45.6 meters, a container capacity of 9,200TEU. They will be classed by classification society Bureau Veritas (BV). 

The ships will use methanol as the main fuel, to reduce the emission of various pollutants from the fuel source and meet the third stage requirements of the Ship Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

SWS also noted that the ships could effectively ensure that the carbon emission intensity index (CII) is met.

At the same time, the ship type is optimized from multiple dimensions such as aerodynamics, thermal energy management, energy distribution, ventilation flow field, and lashing bridge type.

In 2021, it successfully entered the 7,000TEU medium-sized container ship market and has received a total of 34 orders so far, ranking first in the world. The successful implementation of the construction project of eight 9,200TEU methanol dual-fuel medium-sized brings the company to the largest batch order of this ship type in the world so far.

Methanol dual-fuel technology holds immense potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the global effort to combat climate change. It has emerged as one of the fastest-growing alternative fuels in the shipping sector. China is also fervently advancing its efforts in the construction of alternatively powered vessels, with a particular focus on methanol propulsion.

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The world has recently witnessed the naming ceremony of the first-ever containership fuelled by green methanol. Laura Maersk, owned by Danish shipping giant Maersk, was christened on 14 September and has since sailed on its maiden voyage from Copenhagen.

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When operating on methanol while at sea, the feeder vessel achieves impressive emissions reductions, with the potential to save up to 100 tons of CO2 daily compared to conventional fuel usage. Additionally, when considering the overall greenhouse gas impact, methanol delivers a substantial reduction of approximately 65%, according to information provided by Maersk.