Odd one out in Calandkanaal
Calandkanaal, normally dominated by oil tankers, has been the scene of container ship Brussels Express for several days now. Moored at Paal (dolphin) 80, the vessel has bunkered LNG and is currently waiting for a berth in Prinses Amaliahaven. The Brussels Express, which originally ran on fuel oil, is the first container ship that has been converted to run on LNG.
The vessel was taken into service as the Sajir in 2015. When it was commissioned, the then owner, UASC, presented it as ‘LNG-ready’, but this would require a thorough conversion. After the merger with Hapag Lloyd, the vessel was rechristened Brussels Express and was converted into an LNG-powered vessel. The costs of this retrofit are estimated at €35 million. Hapag Lloyd operates another 16 LNG-ready container ships. It depends on the performance of the Brussels Express whether these will also undergo a retrofit.
Meanwhile, Hapag Lloyd has ordered six LNG-powered TEU vessels of 23,500+ tonnes from Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. The vessels will be delivered between April and December 2023 and will bunker LNG in Rotterdam as well.