MPC Container Ships orders methanol-powered boxship duo for Norwegian charter

Oslo-listed boxship owner MPC Container Ships has contracted two dual-fuel methanol-powered 1,300 teu newbuilds at Chinese-based shipyard Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering for $78m.

The vessels will deliver in the second half of 2024 and come with 15-year time charters to Norway’s North Sea Container Line (NCL), backed by contracts of affreightment (COAs) from various parties, including a 15-year deal with Norwegian industrial group Elkem.

Elkem, which owns 40% of NCL, said the agreement will also enable the Haugesund-based liner, currently operating four ships, to become the first operator in Norway to put methanol-powered ships into operation.

The newbuild pair will replace three of NCL’s current diesel-powered vessels, which will be phased out from operations. The ships will be majority-owned by MPC Container Ships in partnership with Topeka MPC Maritime.

The methanol-powered ships have been backed by NOK13.7m ($1.4m) in funding by the Norwegian government enterprise Enova and NOK60m ($6m) from the NOx fund, the Norwegian business sector’s fund to reduce emissions.

Commenting on the new order, Constantin Baack, CEO of MPC Container Ships, said: “Together with our partners NCL and Elkem, this project allows us to set up a green transportation corridor in Northern Europe, proving our ability to identify and execute on opportunities that are accretive whilst allowing us to make the right move towards further decarbonisation of the fleet. It also demonstrates that we can meet ambitious environmental goals by joining forces with like-minded partners.

“We believe that regional container trades with their specific features such as predictable trading profiles and manageable investments in fuel infrastructure will likely become the first truly green shipping trades.”

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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