Seaspan and Hapag-Lloyd ink methanol retrofit agreement with MAN ES

Written by Nick Blenkey
Methanol retrofit agreement signatories

Methanol retrofit agreement signatories (L to R): Thomas Juul MD at MAN ES Canada, Torsten Pedersen, COO at Seaspan, Thomas Leander, head of solutions and site manager, Frederikshavn, MAN ES, and Peter Curtis, executive advisor, Seaspan [Photo: MAN ES]

The move to methanol fueling continues to accelerate. The latest figures from DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform, showed that the 55 vessels with alternative fuel propulsion ordered in June included 26 for LNG fueled vessels and 29 for methanol powered vessels (including retrofits).

That methanol-retrofit total is set to get a huge boost in the months ahead. MAN Energy Solutions has just signed a conversion commitment agreement with containership leasing giant Seaspan Corporation and Hapag-Lloyd covering 15 methanol engine retrofits, plus options an additional 45 more.

Under the terms of the agreement, MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division, will deliver 15 engine retrofit solutions for conversion of vessels powered by individual MAN B&W S90-type fuel-oil-powered engines from the Seaspan and Hapag-Lloyd fleets to dual-fuel ME-LGIM engines capable of running on green methanol.

According to MAN, each conversion can provide a CO2 reduction of 50,000–70,000 yonnes each year, when operating on green methanol.

Seaspan president and CEO Bing Chen and COO Torsten Pedersen signed the agreement on behalf of Seaspan. Thomas Leander, head of solutions and site manager, Frederikshavn, Denmark; Jens Seeberg, Head of retrofits & upgrades, MAN PrimeServ Denmark; and Brian Østergaard Sørensen, vice president and head of R&D, two-stroke business, signed on behalf of MAN Energy Solutions.

The development of the methanol retrofit solution project was led by Thomas Leander of MAN Energy Solutions, Peter Curtis of Seaspan and Richard von Berlepsch, managing director fleet at Hapag-Lloyd.

Seaspan is the largest global containership lessor, primarily focused on long-term time charters with the world’s leading container shipping lines. With a newbuild program of 70 vessels, Seaspan will bring its owned fleet to a total of 200 vessels and 1.9 million TEU capacity.

“Seaspan and Hapag-Lloyd, are significant maritime stakeholders with strong fleet-decarbonization commitments and strategies,” said Leander. “This agreement shows clear intent to drive the industry transition toward zero-carbon shipping. Retrofitting existing engines to dual-fuel running is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to derive greater efficiency and profitability from an existing shipping fleet, while simultaneously delivering fuel flexibility and extending operational lifetimes. Crucially, this also avoids the unnecessary building of additional tonnage with associated CO2 emissions, showcasing that retrofitting the existing maritime fleet is an important and feasible path.”

Seaspan notes that MAN will build and test a base engine to qualify the methanol conversion technology and kits for the S90 engine, as these engines are no longer in production.

Seaspan executive advisor Peter Curtis said: “Developing this solution with MAN will enable the marine industry to progress its advances in decarbonization by means of improving performance of in-service conventional vessels. The challenges ahead cannot be met by newbuilding alone. We believe that retrofitting will be a necessary and major component of both our emissions abatement program, and that of the maritime industry. In addition, this solution creates an effective way to extend operational lifetimes of the existing fleet, deliver fuel flexibility, and avoid unnecessary additional newbuilds.

“This industry-leading effort between Seaspan, Hapag-Lloyd, and MAN demonstrates the necessity for increased collaboration across many aspects of our industry as we increasingly seek novel and innovative solutions to more complex and difficult challenges than we had in the past. Our forward thinking and collaborative mindset, working with our customers and technology partners for many years, has consistently provided a solid foundation for the continued growth and leadership position of Seaspan,” Curtis added.

Categories: Environment, News, Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,