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Hyundai Heavy Industries

Hyundai Heavy world's first in LNG-powered container launch

Aug 24, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. has launched the world’s first Very Large Container Ship (VLCS) powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its subsidiary Hyundai Samho completed the sea trial of the vessel on August 24.

The 14,800 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ship is 366 meters long, 51 meters wide, and stands 29.9 meters deep. It is equipped with a single 12,000-cubic meter LNG tank which allows for a return trip between Asia and Europe.


This is the first VLCS to run on LNG and the first completion of six LNG-powered containerships ordered by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) in April 2018. This first LNG container will be delivered to EPS on September 15, with the final vessel set for delivery in the third quarter of 2022.

“Just as electric vehicles are in the auto industry spotlight, eco-friendly vessels like LNG-fueled ships are in the spotlight of the shipbuilding industry,” said an official from Hyundai Heavy.

“We are poised to consolidate our position as the trailblazer in this segment, winning the trust of more and more customers backed by our technical prowess and highest quality standards," the official added.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Heavy's success with the LNG-powered container is in stark contrast to its Chinese industry peers.

In September 2017, French container shipping company CMA CGM placed an order for nine LNG-powered containerships to Chinese shipbuilders, with the first container set for delivery in November 2019. The container remains in the dock, however, a nine-month delay due to technical hurdles and a change in the shipbuilder.

CMA CGM is expected to ask the Chinese shipyards to bear the operating loss.

“Technical expertise comes from the ability to carry out normal shipping practices such as regulating costs, keeping deadlines, and more,” said a shipbuilding industry source.

To date, Hyundai Heavy has landed orders to build a total of 44 LNG-powered vessels, including bulk carriers, tankers, and container ships. The shipbuilding giant stands as the frontrunner in the shipbuilding industry with the lead in global shipbuilding orders.

By Man-su Choe


Danbee Lee edited this article

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