SEOUL, May 29 (Korea Bizwire) — In the area of methanol-powered ships, which have emerged as a game changer in the shipbuilding industry, competition is heating up between South Korea and China.
HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. held a keel-laying ceremony last week to place the first block of a methanol dual fuel container ship inside the dry dock.
This ship, scheduled for delivery in January next year, is a 16,200 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) mega-sized container ship ordered by Maersk Line Ltd. of Denmark.
Previously, Maersk Line placed orders for eighteen methanol-propelled vessels from HD Hyundai Heavy and one from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co.
Methanol-powered ships reduce sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides emissions by 99 percent and 80 percent, respectively, compared to those running on existing bunker C oil.
Liquid natural gas (LNG)-powered ships require large cargo holds to keep LNG in a liquid state below -163 degrees Celsius.
In contrast, methanol can be maintained in a liquid state even at room temperature, eliminating the need for such facilities.
The problem is that Chinese shipbuilders are aggressively joining the race by offering prices approximately 20 percent lower than their Korean rivals.
So far, a total of 81 methanol-powered ships have been ordered worldwide, with Korea securing orders for 45 and China for 36.
France’s CMA CGM ordered six 15,000 TEU methanol-fueled container ships from China’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. in August last year.
Maersk Line recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Ltd. for the construction of eight 8,000 TEU methanol-powered container ships.
In particular, amidst the booming shipbuilding industry, Chinese shipyards are promoting shorter delivery periods as a competitive advantage, considering that the docks of Korean shipyards are filled with enough orders to keep them busy for approximately three years.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)