World‘s first containership conversion to methanol kick starts in China


Danish container shipping giant Maersk and Zhoushan Xinya Shipbuilding Co. kickstart the world’s first container vessel methanol dual-fuel retrofit.

© Zhoushan Xinya Shipbuilding

Chinese shipbuilder Zhoushan Xinya Shipbuilding Co. held a steel-cutting ceremony for what has been described in the industry as the world’s first methanol dual-fuel retrofit project of a containership.

The steel was cut on the first prefabricated blocks for the retrofit of Maersk‘s 14,000 TEU Maersk Halifax. The retrofit contract was announced in October 2023 as part of Maersk’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.

Maersk Halifax is scheduled to arrive at the yard in early July this year where it will undergo a conversion process lasting approximately three months.

To prepare for the project, Xinya Shipyard has built a dedicated 500-ton gantry crane over the No.3 dock for the retrofit.

“Our company has the confidence to accomplish this project with high-quality and make this project the model, providing Xinya mode for the world ship repair, which is our joint efforts and wisdom, and will carry our dreams to the net zero future,” the shipyard pointed out.

MAN Energy Systems has been contracted to supply the engine for the project. In June 2023, MAN PrimeServ – MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division signed a contract with Maersk for the retrofit of the main engines aboard 11 container vessels.

Maersk has pioneered the use of methanol fuel in the container shipping industry. The Danish containership giant has ordered the construction of 25 methanol-powered container carriers, including six 17,000 TEU ships, twelve 16,000 TEU boxships, six mid-sized container vessels, and one feeder vessel.

Until now, the company has taken delivery of the feeder vessel, named Laura Maersk, and one 16,000 TEU vessel, Ane Maersk.

The liner major aims to have its full fleet of methanol-powered vessels operational by 2027.

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