This weekend, the 15,000 TEU ship "Brussels Express" sailed into its home port of Hamburg for the first time. It is the world's first large container ship to be converted to gas propulsion. In September 2020, the ship, then still named "Sajir," went to the Huarun Dadong Dockyard Co, LTD shipyard in Shanghai. There, preparations had been made beforehand to hoist the 1,300-ton LNG tank into the belly of the ship via a floating crane and to carry out further conversion work.
Photo: © HLAG
"Because a conversion of this magnitude had never been done before, there were numerous challenges for us - from planning to implementation. We have broken new ground with the conversion and will now test the practical operation very closely," says Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. "Fossil LNG is currently the most suitable fuel on the road to zero emissions. In the medium term, the goal is to operate the ships climate-neutrally with synthetically produced methane gas (SNG)."
In line with the European Green Deal, Hapag-Lloyd has renamed the ship "Brussels Express." In addition to this, the line "shipping for a cleaner future!" adorns the breakwater on the bow.
The ship is not yet running entirely on LNG. There will be some final work done at the end of this round trip. The first full LNG bunkering will then take place in Singapore. In the future, the ship, which is currently sailing in the Far East 4 service between Asia and Northern Europe, will bunker twice per round trip: in Singapore and in Rotterdam.
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