Danish cargo liner adds more vessels to LNG-powered fleet

Mere days remain before Danish cargo liner Containerships completes the last sea trials for its first vessel powered by liquid natural gas (LNG), M/S Containerships Nord.

Over the weekend the company, bought by French shipping major CMA CGM in June, christened two more LNG vessels, M/S Containerships Balt and M/S Containerships Finn, in Wengchong Shipyard where the vessels are being built.

The newbuilds are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of the New Year, bringing Containerships’ LNG fleet to four.

Apart from M/S Containerships Nord, delivery of another newbuild, M/S Containerships Strom, is expected by the end of the year.

In addition to the existing newbuilds that are about to take to the seas, and the additional two expected next year, Containerships also announced at the christening that it would most likely order two more LNG box ships from the Chinese shipyard.

News of the company’s burgeoning presence as an LNG-able shipping line follows its recent announcement that like Maersk, it is instituting bunker adjustment factor (BAF) surcharges from the New Year. This to cover the additional costs of compliance with the International Maritime Organisation’s sulphur cap of 0.5%, down from 3.5%, which takes effect on 1 January 2020.

Maersk’s recent BAF announcement, coming in a full year ahead of the sulphur cap, attracted widespread condemnation, particularly from shippers who no doubt will be forced to absorb the costs which will then be passed onto consumers.

Containerships, however, used the christening to reiterate its stance, as Maersk has, that it is the right thing to do.

“The environment needs new solutions, and both the public authorities and our customers demand more ecological transport options,” said the liner’s CEO, Kari-Pekka Laaksonen.

According to reports Containerships is the first ocean freighter to embark on developing an LNG supply chain fleet.

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