World’s 1st ULCV LNG-conversion completed

LNG bunker tank being into Hapag-Lloyd’s Sajir; Image courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd

The world’s first conversion of a large containership to LNG as fuel has been completed, German liner company Hapag-Lloyd has confirmed to Offshore Energy – Green Marine.

The 15,000 TEU vessel Sajir, now renamed Brussels Express, departed the Chinese shipyard Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co. last Saturday and is now underway in the North China Sea heading toward Busan, Korea.

“We will have some guarantee work to do though which will be completed during the next months,” Hapag-Lloyd said.

The ship is now phasing back into service.

The vessel arrived at the Shanghai yard on August 31, 2020, for the retrofit, which was set to start in May 2020.

The project was delayed due to the COVID-19 impact, marking its official start on September 2.

The ship was fitted with 6,500-cbm LNG Mark III tank was designed by the French LNG containment specialist GTT.

MAN Energy Solutions was tasked with the conversion of the vessel’s HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI.

The conversion is expected to cost around $35 million.

The Sajir is one of the 17 vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet that were originally designed to be LNG-ready.

The project is the core of Hapag-Lloyd’s sustainability strategy, as using LNG has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 to 30 percent and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 90 percent.

Earlier this year, the company has ordered also six 23,500+ TEU containerships, set to be powered by LNG.

The $ 1 billion investment will see the LNG-powered vessels delivered to Hapag-Lloyd between April and December 2023.

The vessels will be fitted with fuel-efficient high-pressure dual-fuel engines, that will operate on LNG. However, they will have alternatively sufficient tank capacity to operate on conventional fuel, the company said.

Hapag-Lloyd has secured green financing for the newbuilds worth a total of $889 million.

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