Hamburg-based global liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyd confirmed an order worth US$1Bn to build six LNG-powered, dual-fuel, ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME)
Under the contract confirmed in late December, DSME will deliver the six 23,500+ TEU vessels between April 2023 and December 2023. The ultra-large container ships will be Hapag Lloyd’s largest to date.
The order firms a letter of intent signed with DSME. The LOI contained options for an additional six box ships, which if exercised would bring the value of the investment for the 12 ships to US$2Bn.
For the newbuilds, Hapag-Lloyd is considering utilising two LNG bunker tanks on deck of a new type B tank of 18,000 m3 constructed with cryogenic high-manganese steel in preference over normal membrane type.
BRL reports that using high-manganese steel for the LNG fuel tanks in Hapag-Lloyd’s newbuild box ships could yield potential cost savings of “US$2M to US$3M over competitors and be worth the investment in the long run. This will allow bunkering on board from self-sufficiency.”
Transporting some 12M TEU annually with its fleet of 234 vessels, Hapag-Lloyd reported the new ULCSs will be deployed on Europe–Asia routes as part of The Alliance, which includes liner companies Japan’s Ocean Network Express, China’s Yang Ming and South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Each of the new ULCS vessels will be fitted with a two-stroke, high-pressure dual-fuel engine that will be capable of operating on LNG or traditional compliant fuel.
“With the investment in six ultra-large container vessels, we will not only be able to reduce slot costs and improve our competitiveness on the Europe–Far East trade, but also take a significant step forward in modernising our fleet,” said Hapag-Lloyd chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen. “Additionally, we will further reduce our environmental impact,” he added.
In January, China’s Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co, a joint venture of China Resources Investment Enterprises and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, is expected to complete the conversion of Hapag-Lloyd’s Sajir to burn LNG. Converting the 15,000-TEU ULCS and investing in the new box ships are key elements of the German liner company’s sustainability strategy to use LNG to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% to 30% and SOx and particulate matter emissions by more than 90%.
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