LNG dual-fuel units ordered reached 198 ships of 2.31 Mteu earlier this week, equivalent to just 30% of the order book, its highest proportion to date. This is more than a 25% share of the order book from twelve months ago, according to Alphaliner.
But it is the rapid growth of methanol units that has driven the largest increase in green orders: methanol dual-fuel ships have advanced at a faster rate as a proportion of the order book to reach the current 68 ships from 0 .93 mteu. The segment now accounts for 12% of the order book by capacity, up from less than 1% a year ago.
Earlier this month, HMM ordered 10 9,000 methanol dual fuel tankers from Hyundai Heavy Industries for delivery in 2025 and 2026 beginning in January 2025, while last month CMA CGM ordered 12 13,000 methanol dual fuel tankers. teu, also at Hyundai, for delivery in 2025 and 2026, with the last ship delivered in December 2026. It has more rumored orders on the way.
The figures show that the green revolution in container shipping is already underway with shippers using huge cash deposits to remake their fleets for the energy transition. Underscoring the move away from conventional propulsion, only 14% of the capacity ordered in the second half of 2022 was powered by fuel oil. Meanwhile, methanol dual-fuel orders surpassed LNG in terms of capacity ordered for the first time.
The share of fuel oil orders has continued to decline in the current quarter. Of the 0.38 Mteu ordered so far in 2023 (as of February 24), only 8% by capacity has been for conventionally propelled ships.
A fourth propulsion category, hybrid battery, which is being installed on 2 700 TEU ships for Pan Asia/COSCO and 3 1200 TEU ships for Langh Ship, is currently too small to be represented at less than 0.1%. of the order book.
With new methanol orders now outpacing LNG orders, Maersk is at the top of the list. The Danish carrier has orders for nearly 300,000 TEU of methanol dual-fuel capacity, equivalent to 80% of its contracted new build tonnage.
It recently placed orders for 6 x 17,000 teu units at Hyundai Heavy Industries in October for delivery over a seven-month period ending in December 2025.
However, French line CMA CGM could overtake Maersk soon if it confirms a recently rumored order for 6 x 16,000 teu methanol dual-fuel units at CSSC Group’s Jiangnan Shipyard. This would increase CMA CGM’s current contracts for 246,000 TEU methanol engines to 342,000 TEU, outperforming the Danish airline.
Coming in third is OOCL, which entered the methanol dual-fuel tonnage market only last October, ordering 7 x 24,000 teu of NACKS- for delivery in 2026 and 2027.