07 MAR 2019

The 15,000 TEU Hapag-Lloyd container ship Sajir will be the first mega-container vessel to be converted to dual-fuel operation.

Contracts have been signed, and the conversion will be undertaken by MAN Energy Solutions. The project will entail the conversion of an existing, HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI (-Gas Injection) prime mover capable of running on HFO and LNG. The retrofit will be done at the Chinese Hudong/HRDD shipyard.

The project is scheduled to take place in 2020 when the five-year old vessel will spend 90 days in dock. The DNV GL approved 6,700 cubic meter gas storage system will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers, including the pipework between storage and engine. This tank size will mean the vessel bunkers twice per round trip between Asia and Northern Europe.

MAN Cryo will install the system to supply gas to the main and auxiliary engines including a MAN Energy Solutions 300 bar high pressure Pump Vaporizer System.

Sajir is one of 17 LNG-ready vessels built for United Arab Shipping Co before it was acquired by Hapag-Lloyd. The ship operates at -60 percent to the EEDI reference line due to features such as a heat recovery system and power take-off, according to LNG World Shipping.

By converting the Sajir, we will be the first shipping company to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion,” said Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. “With this unprecedented pilot, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this alternative fuel.”

In 2017, Wessels Reederei’s Wes Amelie, a 1,036 TEU container ship that was originally fitted with an MAN 8L48/60B diesel engine, was converted to dual-fuel operation with the installation of a MAN 51/60DF unit. The vessel now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements.

In 2018, CMA CGM subsidiary Containerships took delivery of its first LNG-fueled 1,400 TEU container vessel Containerships Nord. The 1,400 TEU vessel was bunkered for the first time earlier this year. She was built at Wenchong Shipyard, China, and three sister vessels are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2019.

Overall, the LNG-powered fleet has grown globally from 118 LNG-powered vessels in operation in 2017, to 143 LNG-powered vessels in operation – with a further 135 on order and 135 LNG-ready ships either in operation or on order. LNG bunker demand from the shipping sector is expected to be between 20 to 30 million tons annually by 2030, up from less than one million currently.


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