MPC Container Ships is working with North Sea Container Line to launch the first green corridor along the North Sea with the deployment of Norway’s first methanol-powered containerships. The companies plan to launch the vessels in the second half of 2024 and expect that they can cut net CO2 emissions by 45 percent and increase it up to 100 percent through the use of green methanol derived from renewable electricity and captured CO2 when the e-fuel becomes readily available.
The order for the two new containerships was placed by Germany-based MPCC which will own 90 percent of a newly created holding company. Topeka MPC Maritime, a partnership between MPC Capital and Wilhelmsen Group focused on decarbonized shipping, will hold the remainder. The two containerships, which will each have a capacity of 1,300 TEU, will be built at China’s Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering.
Each of the vessels will be outfitted with dual-fuel engines designed to operate on methanol as well as conventional MGO. Each will cost $39 million to build, and upon completion they will be chartered for 15 years to North Sea Container Line. The Norwegian short-sea operator plans to use the vessels to phase out the operation of three of its older diesel-powered vessels, which provide regular service between various ports in Norway, Rotterdam, and Hamburg. It is part of the company’s plan to complete its transition to decarbonize its operations. NCL acknowledges that methanol will have a higher operating cost, but says it will become the default choice for its operations, and customers will have to explicitly request diesel-fueled ships if they want to go the slightly cheaper route.