HMM goes green with nine methanol-fuelled mega-ships

HMM goes green with nine methanol-fuelled mega-ships

HMM, a leading South Korean shipping company, has taken an important step towards reducing its carbon footprint by signing newbuilding contracts with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) and HJ Shipbuilding and Construction (HJSC) for nine 9,000 TEU containerships powered by methanol dual-fuel engines. This is part of HMM’s mid-to-long-term strategy to become a top-rated global shipping and logistics company through fleet competitiveness.

Methanol, a clean-burning and sustainable fuel, reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional oil-based fuels, resulting in an immediate improvement in air quality around ports and shipping lanes.

The ships’ sulfur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter emissions are virtually eliminated, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are cut by 80%. Methanol’s biodegradable and water-soluble qualities also significantly reduce the risk to marine environments.

The vessels, which are scheduled to be deployed on the Asia-North/Latin America trade lanes and the Asia-India routes from 2025 to 2026, will cost a total of USD 1.12 billion to build, with HSHI constructing seven and HJSC building two. Additionally, green shipping corridors between Busan in Korea and key ports in the U.S. are also among the potential routes to operate the new ships. Green shipping corridors are routes that prioritize low-carbon, environmentally friendly shipping options.

As part of its commitment to secure the supply of methanol for the newly-ordered vessels, HMM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with five fuel suppliers, including Proman, PTTEP, European Energy, Hyundai Corporation, and others.

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The company will conduct a feasibility study with each partner to procure various types of methanol in its main bunkering ports and collaborate to produce green methanol as part of developing carbon-neutral fuels.

HMM has set a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its fleet by 2050 and will explore a range of sustainable energy sources, including methanol, LNG, hydrogen, and green ammonia, as part of its environmental initiatives. Kim Kyung Bae, President and CEO of HMM, said that the company will continue to drive efforts to support the global community’s broader transition to carbon neutrality while strengthening its fundamental level of future capability in the face of increasingly fierce competition in the global market.

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