Hapag-Lloyd has signed a contract for a pilot gas-conversion of a 15,000-TEU container vessel in what will be the world’s first retrofit of a mega container ship.
It has signed a contract with MAN Energy Solutions for the engine conversion of 15,000-TEU Sajir. The pilot 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 engine capable of running on HFO and LNG. The retrofit will be done at the Chinese Hudong/HRDD shipyard.
“By converting Sajir, we will be the first shipping company to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion”, said Hapag-Lloyd managing director fleet management Richard von Berlepsch. “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.”
The Hapag-Lloyd pilot project is scheduled to take place in 2020, when the five-year-old vessel will spend 90 days in dock. The DNV GL approved gas-storage system will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers, including the pipework between storage and engine.
MAN Energy Solutions chief sales officer and member of the executive board Wayne Jones said “We are seeing great interest in this project from the industry as a whole. This is an excellent showcase for the conversion of a mega-container vessel to LNG and the potential benefits for the market is huge.”
MAN Energy Solutions said the emissions savings for MAN B&W two-stroke engines are “significant” when converting an existing HFO engine to LNG. It added that using LNG in the shipping industry could reduce CO2 emissions by 15 to 20% and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter by more than 90%.
Mr Jones added “MAN Energy Solutions’ strategy is to provide complete, fully integrated solutions. Accordingly, MAN Cryo will install an entire gas system to supply gas to the main, as well as to the auxiliary engines, including a MAN Energy Solutions 300 bar high pressure pump vaporiser system.”
Retrofitting the MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to ME-GI dual-fuel running is part of the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’, an umbrella term that covers all MAN Energy Solutions activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry.