Ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd is retrofitting a 15,000-TEU container ship for liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion, the first shipping company in the world to convert a container ship of this size to LNG.
Recently, an LNG tank weighing 1,300 tonnes was hoisted into the vessel “Sajir” by a floating crane following over three weeks of preparing the ship’s hold for the installation, the container shipping liner said in a release.
In the weeks ahead, the tank will be welded to the hold, while the main engine and the auxiliary diesel engines will be converted to dual-fuel operation for LNG and low-sulfur fuel oil.
Retrofitting of the Sajir for LNG propulsion began on September 2 in the HuaRun DaDong Dockyard in Shanghai, China, making Hapag-Lloyd the first shipping company in the world to convert a container ship of this size to LNG.
The Sajir is seen to be fully converted to LNG and go through initial test voyages in early 2021 before it is redeployed on the Asia-North Europe trade lane.
The US$35-million conversion of “Sajir” is a key element of Hapag-Lloyd’s sustainability strategy. Using LNG has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% to 30% and sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 90%.
The pilot project is expected to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted in order to use this alternative fuel.
“However, our long-term goal continues to be CO2-neutral shipping operations using synthetic natural gas (SNG),” said Richard von Berlepsch, managing director of fleet at Hapag-Lloyd.
Photo courtesy of Hapag-Lloyd