The 15,000TEU vessel, Brussels Express, the first large container ship in the world to have been converted to gas propulsion, has sailed into its home port of Hamburg for the first time, during the weekend (5-6 June).
In September 2020, when the boxship was still named "Sajir", it went into the Huarun Dadong Dockyard in Shanghai, where all the preparations had already been made to have a floating crane hoist the 1,300-tonne LNG tank into the belly of the ship as well as to carry out other work related to the conversion.
“We have broken new ground with the conversion, and we will now be testing it very precisely in real-world operation,” said Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet Management at Hapag-Lloyd. “Fossil LNG is currently the most promising fuel on the path towards zero emissions. The medium-term goal is to have CO2-neutral shipping operations using synthetic natural gas (SNG).”
The ship is not yet operating exclusively with LNG, as the final guarantee works will be performed at the end of this round voyage. The first complete LNG bunkering will then take place in Singapore on the next round voyage, according to the Hamburg-based vessel owner, Hapag-Lloyd.
In the future, Brussels Express, which is currently operating in the Far East 4 service between Asia and North Europe, will bunker twice per round voyage; in Singapore and in Rotterdam.