Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions has received the first order for its B&W G80ME-LGIM dual-fuel engines, which can operate on methanol.

South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and HJ Shipbuilding & Construction (HJSC) placed orders for seven and two of the engines, respectively.

Designed to run on green methanol and conventional fuel oil, the G80 engines can also be integrated with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems.

The engines will be connectivity-ready as well as prepared for digital services, including PrimeServ Assist, when they are delivered.

They will be used in nine 9,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) boxships that are currently being constructed for HMM.

The South Korean container line ordered the nine methanol-fuelled vessels last month, with the combined worth of the orders being $1.12bn.

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With delivery to HMM expected to start in 2025, the new vessels will run on routes to North and South America as well as India.

MAN Energy Solutions senior vice-president and head of low-speed Bjarne Foldager said: “This world-first order for a G80 methanol engine is just a continuation of the general market trend toward methanol where the ME-LGIM engine has become the de facto industry standard for large, methanol-fuelled, merchant marine vessels.

“At MAN Energy Solutions, we expect further projects for this size of container vessel to be specified with our G80 methanol engine within the near future. As such, methanol is quickly becoming the most prominent alternative fuel in the container vessel segment.”

To ensure methanol supply for these vessels, HMM also reached memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with several fuel suppliers.

More than 80 renewable methanol projects across the world are expected to generate over eight million metric tons of e-methanol and bio-methanol a year by 2027, according to the Methanol Institute (MI).