Norwegian shipowning company Ocean Yield AS has agreed to purchase a 5,500 TEU newbuilding container vessel under construction at HJ Shipbuilding, Korea.
As explained, the vessel will be a sister vessel to the two newbuildings announced on 10 June 2022 and 18 July 2022, with a design enabling it to be converted to dual fuel operation with methanol as fuel.
Delivery of the vessel is expected in Q3 2023. Upon delivery, the vessel will commence a seven-year time charter contract with ZIM Integrated Shipping Services.
Established in 2012, Ocean Yield focuses on investments in vessels on long-term charters. In late 2021, the company changed its owner when Octopus Bidco AS, a company indirectly wholly owned by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and its affiliates (KKR), acquired all shares in Ocean Yield.
The surging demand for methanol-powered vessels over the past 12 months has been triggered by the shipping industry’s accelerating decarbonization drive, which has seen over 40 methanol-powered ships added to the ordering tally.
Being a carbon-neutral solution, which is readily available today, methanol is gaining in popularity in the maritime sector, especially having in mind that other alternatives such as ammonia have a long way to go before becoming more mainstream.
The key benefits of methanol include its density, which doesn’t affect the load capacity of ships, the fact that it is relatively safe to bunker, and that it has an attractive price.