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COSCO switches 16,000 TEU quartet to run on methanolhit

COSCO Shipping Lines has announced that it will switch four 16,000 TEU newbuildings to be dually fuelled with methanol, from conventional fuel.

The company said this is in line with its plan to comply with the global goal of achieving decarbonisation in 2050. As a result, the price of the newbuildings will be increased from US$620 million to US$734 million.

For reference, Clarksons’ data shows that the price of a 15,000 to 16,000 TEU methanol dual fuel container ship has reached US$191 million.

The ships, to be operated by COSCO Shipping and its subsidiary OOCL, were ordered alongside six 14,000 TEU vessels at COSCO Shipping’s affiliated shipyard, COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Yangzhou), in July 2021.

Due to the alteration in the propulsion, the capacity of each ship will be downgraded from the original 16,180 TEU to 16,108 TEU. The delivery dates for the ships have also been extended from June 2025 to December 2025 to November 2025 to June 2026.

The switch to methanol dual-fuelling means that in all, COSCO Shipping has 16 methanol dual fuelled container ships on order.

In October 2022, COSCO Shipping ordered a dozen 24,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel power container ships in Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering and Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering. These will be the largest methanol dual-fuelled boxships upon their delivery between 2026 and 2028.

In addition, COSCO Shipping is converting two 13,800 TEU ships and two 20,000 TEU ships to be methanol dual-fuelled. The company said the conversion will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 360,000 tonnes each year.

Alphaliner’s data shows that COSCO Shipping’s current fleet comprises 190 owned ships and 310 chartered ships. With a total capacity of 3.19 million TEUs, COSCO Shipping is the fourth largest operator. The company has 38 newbuildings, totalling 685,000 TEU, on order, accounting for about 21.4% of its existing fleet.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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