First large container ship LNG conversion

'Sajir' 'Sajir' will be retrofitted to operate with a dual fuel engine able to run on LNG. Credit: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd will retrofit a large container ship to operate using LNG in a world first following the signing of a contract with Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd.

The fuel system and existing heavy fuel oil-burning engine of the 15,000 TEU ship ‘Sajir’ will be converted into a dual fuel engine in the Shanghai-based shipyard Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co., Ltd. Post-conversion, the engine system will be able to function on LNG or low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) as back-up to tackle CO2 emissions and pave the way for other large vessels to follow.

“By converting the ‘Sajir’, we will be the first shipping company in the world to retrofit a container ship of this size to LNG propulsion”, says Richard von Berlepsch, managing director fleet management at Hapag-Lloyd. “By carrying out 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.”

Fleet conversion possible

The Sajir is one of 17 vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet that was originally designed to be LNG-ready. Its 16 sister ships are also technically prepared for retrofitting.

With the conversion of the Sajir, Hapag-Lloyd will be implementing a technological option to reduce the environmental impact of large vessels.

Using LNG in the shipping industry could potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 15-30% and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter by more than 90%.

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