Methanol-powered vessels to deliver containers from Norway to major ports of Western Europe

2022/07/06 at 3:25 PM

Starting from the second half of 2024, North Sea Container Line (NCL), the Norwegian shortsea shipping specialist, will begin to operate two hybrid container vessels. They will be powered from methanol and conventional marine fuel. NCL will use both ships to deliver boxes from the ports of Norway to the major harbours in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Two hybrid container vessels with a capacity of 1,300 TEU each were ordered by MPC Container Ships (MPCC), the Norwegian tonnage provider. They will be built by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering, a China-based shipyard. The investment is worth 78 million US dollars. “The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional MGO (the marine gas oil, which is the high-quality type of fuel – IntermodalNews), allowing MPCC to take a significant leap forward in its commitment to use carbon-neutral solutions in regional container trades together with strong partners,” the Norwegian company stated.

Methanol-powered container vessels for North Sea Container Lines (NCL), source: MPC Container Ships

Time charter

Both ships will be delivered to MPCC in the second half of 2024 when they will be time-chartered for 15 years to North Sea Container Lines (NCL), the Norwegian shortsea shipping company. NCL, in turn, is running several shortsea and feeder lines along the Norwegian coast, from Egersund in the south to Tromsø in the north, as well as from Norway to major ports of Western Europe, including Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany as well as four harbours in the UK (Immingham, London Thamesport, Teesport and Tilbury).

Multilateral initiative

The order of the two carbon-neutral hybrid container vessels is a multilateral project. Both ships will be jointly owned by two companies: MPCC (90.1 per cent) and Topeka MPC Maritime (9.9 per cent), which is a joint of Topeka Holding (zero-emission shipping company owned by Wilhelmsen Group) and MPC Capital (the maternity company of MPCC). As for North Sea Container Lines, it will move containers for Elkem, the Norwegian manufacturer of silicon-based materials that also owns NCL’s 40 per cent stake. Due to the significance of the project for the decarbonisation of the Norwegian transport sector, it is partially financed by the state institutions, Enova and NOx, which together allocated around 7.3 million US dollars.

Related stories:

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  3. Pioneer in Norway: DB Schenker to move containers by unmanned battery-powered feeder ship

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