- The new ships will have dual-fuel engines that can use LNG, and will be delivered beginning in 2024
- This is a follow-up to the earlier order of six ships of over 23,500 TEUs commissioned last December
- New order will be funded via a syndicated green loan amounting to $852 million
Hapag-Lloyd announced a new order for another set of six ultra large container vessels (ULCVs), each one with a capacity of over 23,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This comes on the heels of an earlier order for six box ships of the same capacity that was placed at the end of 2020.
The German container liner shipping company said it has commissioned the South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to build the latest newbuilds, which are set to be delivered starting 2024.
The order is in addition to the US$1-billion order for six box carriers that was signed last December and that is slated to be delivered starting 2023. Thus, the total fleet will be expanded by a dozen ships in the capacity range of more than 23,500-TEUs.
The ULCVs will be outfitted with a state-of-the-art, high-pressure dual-fuel engine that will be extremely fuel-efficient. Their engine will operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), but the vessels will also have sufficient tank capacity to operate on conventional fuel as an alternative.
Hapag-Lloyd said it is focusing on LNG as a medium-term solution, as it reduces CO2 emissions by around 15% to 25% and emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter by more than 90%.
The six additional ships have been financed via a syndicated green loan amounting to $852 million and having a maturity of 12 years from the date of delivery. The transaction was concluded in accordance with the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association while also being verified by an independent expert in the form of a secondary party opinion of the DNV. The credit facility is being backed by the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, and the syndicate consists of 10 banks.
“With this investment in the additional newbuildings, we want to take another step in the ongoing modernisation of our fleet—in terms of both ship size and sustainability,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd. “At the same time, we want to meet the persistently high demand and reduce our slot costs.”
Container shipping demand continues to surge, with volumes at the start of this year the largest ever recorded for any first quarter, while freight rate hikes have been breaking records amid a squeeze in vessel space and a container equipment shortage.
All the vessels will be deployed on the Europe-Far East routes as part of THE Alliance to boost Hapag-Lloyd’s competitiveness in this trade.
Photo from Hapag-Lloyd