Ever Ace Credit Evergreen

Evergreen Marine Corporation wants to build as many as two dozen 16,000 teu methanol dual-fuelled container ships, likely to be deployed on Asia to Europe services.

The Taiwanese mainline operator declined The Loadstar’s requests for comment, but shipbuilding sources confirmed that Evergreen has invited yards from China, Japan and South Korea to submit quotes for the newbuildings.

One source stated: “As part of the bidding process, we will have to provide solutions for the fuel procurement and the replacement of spare parts, if necessary. Before the newbuildings are delivered, the vessels will undergo sea trials, and we’d have to procure methanol to see if the ships can run smoothly on the alternative fuel.

“It’s not good enough to have methanol, but we must also strive to obtain green methanol. When you talk about decarbonisation, not only must the fuel be green, but the fuel production process should be environment-friendly as well.”

The source said that the 24 newbuildings would have to be split among several shipbuilders, due to limited slots. Delivery is likely to start in 2026.

The source continued: “South Korean shipyards are quite advanced in developing designs for alternative fuels, but recently, they have secured a good number of orders for LPG carriers and LNG carriers, on top of building large boxships that were contracted in the last two years.”

Another shipbuilding source said that Evergreen had not disclosed where it planned to deploy the ships, but thinks it is likely the vessels could call at Europe, due to the region’s emphasis on carbon neutrality.

The source said: “Frankly, it’s hard to offer low pricing, because alternative, green fuels don’t come cheap, and these aren’t being produced in great quantities yet. The container freight market isn’t at a high anymore, but we’re still getting enquiries from the major box lines which want to use alternative fuels for their ships to meet ESG requirements.”

Linerlytica analyst Tan Hua Joo told The Loadstar that the new Evergreen ships would be suitable for Mediterranean lanes.

He said: “These ships are most likely aimed at the Asia-Mediterranean trades where upcoming European emissions rules would give these methanol-fuelled ships an advantage.”

Under more stringent rules enacted by International Maritime Organization in December 2022, from 1 May 2025, the permissible sulphur content of marine fuels in the Mediterranean will fall from the current limit of 0.5% to 0.1%.

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