World’s First Mega-Container Vessel Retrofit to LNG


MAN Energy Solutions has signed a contract for the conversion to LNG (dual fuel) of a 15,000 TEU container ship owned by Hapag-Lloyd, one of the major shipping companies in the world.

The retrofit of the MV SAJIR mega container, which was built in 2015 and habitually navigates the route between Asia and Northern Europe through the Suez Canal, represents a world premiere considering its dimensions (368 meters long, 51 meters wide and a gross tonnage of about 150,000 tons).

The operation – scheduled for 2020 – will be carried out at the Chinese shipyard Hudong/HRDD (Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co. Ltd.) specialized in the repair and conversion of large ships, where it is expected a 90-day standstill of the ship and the replacement of the existing engine (a MAN B&W 9S90ME-C fuelled by heavy fuel oil – HFO) with a dual fuel MAN B&W ME-GI (Gas Injection) engine, able to work with LNG or HFO.

The gas storage system, equipped with a tank of 6,700 cubic meters (certified by DNV GL), will occupy an area equivalent to 350 containers, including the pipes connecting the engine. Particularly, MAN Cryo will install the entire gas system to supply both the main engine and auxiliary engines, including a MAN Energy Solutions 300 bar high pressure Pump Vaporizer System (PVU).

Wayne Jones OBE – Sales Director and Executive Board Member of MAN Energy Solutions – said:

We are seeing a great deal of interest on the part of the shipbuilding industry, which is an excellent showcase for converting a mega-container to LNG and the potential benefits for the market are huge;  with this announcement, MAN Energy Solutions is once again at the forefront of technology with our ability to perform LNG conversion of both four-stroke and two-stroke engines. “

Regarding the reference to the four-stroke reference, Jones referred to the conversion in 2017 on behalf of Wessels Reederei, of the “Wes Amelie” container ship of 1,036 TEU that was originally equipped with a MAN 8L48/60B diesel engine and was converted to dual fuel operation with the installation of a MAN 51/60DF unit, meeting the Tier II and Tier III emissions requirements established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management of Hapag-Lloyd also added:

With the conversion of SAJIR, we will be the first shipping company to equip a container ship of this size with LNG propulsion;  with this unprecedented pilot project, we hope to prepare ourselves better for the future and to pave the way for the retrofit of large ships to use this alternative fuel “.

Source: MAN Energy Solution