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KSOE Joins Hands with Maersk to Usher in the Era of Green Shipping

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the intermediate holding company for Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group's shipbuilding operations, is to build methanol-fueled ships, now in the spotlight as the next-generation eco-friendly vessel, by joining hands with Maersk, the world's largest container ship operator.
KSOE announced on Monday that it recently signed a contract with the Danish shipping giant to construct eight 16,000-TEU VLCSs (Very Large Container Ships) powered by methanol. The order is worth KRW 1.65 trillion in total.

Each of these eco-friendly container ships will be equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can run on methanol, with a length of 348 meters, a breadth of 54 meters, and a depth of 33 meters. They will be built at the dockyard of HHI in Ulsan to be sequentially delivered to the shipper by 2024.

Having placed a pilot order in June with KSOE to build a 2,100-TEU small container ship that runs on methanol, Maersk now seems to be aggressively expanding its fleet of methanol-powered vessels.

Methanol is in the spotlight as an eco-friendly fuel in the carbon neutral era as it can drastically reduce sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and greenhouse gases compared to the existing fuels.

Maersk, which is leading the carbon-neutral shipping, expects these ships to generate annual CO₂ emissions savings of around 1 million tons by replacing older vessels.

"The recent win is very meaningful in that these ships will be the world's first large container ships equipped with methanol-powered engines," said an official of KSOE. "Leveraging our leading technologies related to eco-friendly vessels, we will continue to do our best to ensure strategic selection of orders to maximize profitability."

In particular, Cho Kyung-geun, head of Hyundai Heavy Industries Division of the Metal Workers' Union, attended the signing ceremony, adding meaning. "We appreciate your trust in the technological prowess of Hyundai Heavy Industries," Cho said. "We will do our best to build flawless ships in all aspects, including safety and quality."

Winning newbuilding orders for a total of 25 methanol-powered vessels so far, KSOE is leading the global market for eco-friendly vessels.