First steel cut for the 16,200 TEU container ship Maersk, powered by methanol

Fifteen months after ordering the first new 16,200 TEU container ship, which Maersk says will usher in a new era in shipping, construction has begun on the first ship. In addition to being the first large container ships to be powered by methanol, they will include a range of features to improve operational efficiency and environmental performance.
A steel cutting ceremony for the new 16,200 TEU vessel took place on November 28 in South Korea, Maersk said in a video and social media post. “A good start is half the battle,” the shipping company said.
The ships are being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, which previously valued the order at $1.4 billion. The deliveries of these vessels are scheduled for the period between the first and fourth quarters of 2024. With the exception of their length of 1148 feet and beam of 175 feet, most details about the ships have not yet been released.
“This marks a turning point for this project from design to implementation and we look forward to continuing our excellent collaboration with HHI,” said AP-Moller-Maersk, Maersk Chief Naval Architect, at a steel cutting ceremony at the HHI shipyard. “From now on, production will ramp up and the next critical stage is main engine factory testing, which is expected to take place in the spring of 2023.”
The ship’s propulsion system is being developed in collaboration with manufacturers such as MAN ES, Hyundai (Himsen) and Alfa Laval using a dual-fuel approach. While the goal is to use methanol during the day, they can also use traditional low sulfur fuel when methanol is not available. The ships will have a 16,000 cubic meter storage tank, which means they will be able to fly back and forth between Asia and Europe, for example, using methanol.
Maersk has previously said the ships are designed to be 20% more energy efficient per shipping container than the industry average for ships of this size. In addition, the new class will be about 10% more efficient than Maersk’s first 15,000 TEU Hong Kong class.
One of the unique features that Maersk has included in the new class is the relocation of the living quarters and navigation bridge to the bow of the ship. The funnel was also located in the stern and only from one side. Block placement is designed to increase the throughput and efficiency of container handling operations.
After placing its first order for methanol-powered container ships, Maersk subsequently exercised an option to expand the contract to 12 vessels from an initial order of eight in August 2021. In addition, six slightly larger 17,000 TEU vessels have been ordered in October 2022 and 2025.
Maersk hopes to gain experience operating methanol on small feeder vessels before launching methanol-powered oceangoing vessels. The vessel is being built at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard and is expected to be delivered in mid-2023. It is 564 feet long and 105 feet wide. Capacity – 2100 TEU, including 400 refrigerators.
Following Maersk, other major shipping lines also announced orders for methanol-powered container ships. LNG proponent CMA CGM announced in June 2022 that it was hedging its future plans by ordering six methanol-powered container ships in search of alternative solutions to meet its emissions targets. COSCO also recently ordered 12 methanol-powered container ships to operate under the OOCL and COSCO brands, while the first feeder line, including the X-Press Feeder, is also dual-fuel and the ships will use methanol.
To support the expansion of methanol and green methanol operations, Maersk is working to build an extensive network for the production and supply of alternative fuels. The company has previously said that one of the challenges in adopting the technology is ensuring adequate fuel supplies.
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Post time: Jan-04-2023
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