Hapag-Lloyd and Seaspan Corporation will retrofit five 10,000 TEU container vessels with S90 engines capable of running on methanol, ahead of continuing their long-term charter with the German shipping company. 

The $120m retrofit project will be carried out by MAN Energy Solutions on vessels chartered from Seaspan by Hapag-Lloyd as part of an agreement signed last year which saw MAN commit to 15 retrofits for the two companies. 

Maximilan Rethkopf, COO of Hapag-Lloyd, said: “The methanol retrofit project is a further step in our ambitious sustainability agenda, which aims to achieve the decarbonisation of the entire fleet by 2045. 

“By enabling these vessels to use green methanol as of 2026, we will meet our customers’ growing demand for green transportation solutions.” 

MAN’s dual-fuel retrofits will begin in Q1 2026 and are expected to take around 80 to 90 days per vessel. The Seaspan Amazon, Seaspan Ganges, Seaspan Thames, Seaspan Yangtze, and Seaspan Zambezi are all listed to receive the new engines.

Seaspan COO Torsten Holst Pedersen described retrofit projects like this as “a critical lever” in the global decarbonisation effort by saving on the additional resources needed to build new vessels from scratch. 

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While Hapag-Lloyd has not been as quick to adopt methanol as some of its counterparts, with Maersk already using three methanol vessels in its fleet, the company has recently been investing in the fuel alongside its existing investments into biofuels and LNG. 

The German company also joined four of the other biggest shipping operators during COP28 in December to call for more regulations encouraging the use of green fuels, stating that the International Maritime Organisation needed to “accelerate the transition”.