World's First Containership Methanol Dual-Fuel Retrofit Begins
World's First Containership Methanol Dual-Fuel Retrofit Begins

World's First Containership Methanol Dual-Fuel Retrofit Begins

  • 13-Mar-2024 2:37 PM
  • Journalist: Jai Sen

Zhoushan Xinya Shipyard, a prominent Chinese shipbuilding entity, has commenced the process of retrofitting the Maersk Halifax, a notable 14,000 TEU containership owned by the esteemed Danish shipping conglomerate, A.P. Moller–Maersk. The primary objective of this retrofitting endeavor is to equip the vessel with the capability to operate using methanol fuel. This pioneering initiative stems from a collaborative effort between Maersk and the Chinese shipbuilder, representing a groundbreaking milestone as the world's inaugural methanol dual-fuel conversion project. To execute this ambitious project, German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) has been engaged to oversee the retrofitting of the engine.

On the notable date of March 8th, Zhoushan Xinya Shipyard inaugurated the upgrade process with a steel-cutting ceremony for the Maersk Halifax. The containership is slated to arrive in early July of the current year and is scheduled to undergo conversion and refurbishment activities spanning approximately three months. Maersk has unveiled plans to extend the retrofit project to encompass several sister vessels during their special surveys, which are scheduled for 2027. This strategic initiative is in alignment with the shipowner's overarching objective of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2040.

The initiation of the conversion project represents a momentous milestone in Maersk's comprehensive strategy aimed at embracing methanol as an integral component of its decarbonization efforts within the maritime sector. In September of the year 2023, Maersk marked a significant milestone with the christening of its inaugural methanol-powered containership, the Laura Maersk. Furthermore, in the early stages of October 2023, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea unveiled the first vessel among a fleet of twelve 16,200 TEU methanol-powered container vessels commissioned by Maersk.

The steadfast commitment of Maersk towards methanol as a sustainable alternative fuel is evident through its substantial investments in both newbuilds and retrofitting projects. The company has placed orders for a total of 25 methanol-powered container carriers from renowned shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group. These orders encompass vessels of various capacities, including six units with a capacity of 17,000 TEU, twelve 16,000 TEU container ships, and one feeder ship that was commissioned in the year 2021. Additionally, construction activities are currently underway for six mid-sized container vessels at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group in China.

Demonstrating a forward-thinking approach, Maersk remains resolute in its ambition to ensure the operational readiness of its entire fleet of methanol-powered vessels by the year 2027. This strategic pivot towards methanol as a marine fuel underscores Maersk's unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship within the shipping industry. By embracing innovative solutions and making substantial investments in eco-friendly technologies, Maersk is at the forefront of driving a paradigm shift towards a greener and more sustainable future for maritime transportation.

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