Hapag-Lloyd to Convert 15,000 TEU Containership to LNG Fuel

sajir lng conversion
MV Sajir. File Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Gerd Frick

Hapag-Lloyd announced Tuesday it will retrofit its 15,000 TEU ship Sajir to cleaner burning LNG fuel, becoming the first in the world to convert a ship of this size to LNG power.

The German shipping line said it hopes the pilot project will pave the way for converting large ships to liquefied natural, helping to eliminate 15 to 30 percent of CO2 emissions compared to traditional fuel oil.

A contract for the retrofit was signed last week with Hudong ZHONGHUA Shipbuilding. The conversion will be carried out in the Shanghai-based shipyard Huarun Dadong Dockyard.

Following the conversion, the Sajir’s engine system will be able to function using either LNG or low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO).

“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.”

Built in 2014, the MV Sajir is one of the 17 vessels in Hapag-Lloyd’s fleet that were originally designed to be LNG-ready. Its sixteen sister ships are also technically prepared for retrofitting, but Hapag-Lloyd did not say whether other ships in the series will undergo a similar retrofit.