ONE Continues Fleet Investments Ordering Its First Methanol-Fueled Ships

ONE containership
ONE Frontier is part of a current class of ships being delivered by Yangzijiang to Seaspan of ONE's operations (Yangzijiang)

Published Jan 17, 2024 3:33 PM by The Maritime Executive


Ocean Network Express (ONE) is continuing to move forward with an aggressive fleet investment program announcing its next major order and this time it is for a dozen methanol dual-fueled containerships. The carrier, which was established seven years ago by three major Japanese shipping companies, mapped a strategy in 2022 that calls for an investment of $20 billion in its fleet and operations by 2030.

The new contract is being split between two Chinese shipyards, Jiangnan Shipyard and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, which will jointly design the new class of vessels. Due to start delivery in 2027, the vessels will have a capacity of 13,000 TEU.

ONE is calling the vessels a significant milestone as its first fleet of methanol-dual fuel vessels and saying they will play a key role in reaching ONE’s sustainable goals as part of the Green Strategy. In addition to being methanol dual-fuel, the ships will include state-of-the-art technologies such as optimized hull form, waste heat recovery systems, and bow windshields. ONE said that selected vessels will also be equipped with an air lubrication system and shaft generator to help with exploring potential enhancements in fuel efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


Rendering of the newly ordered methanol dual-fuel containerships (ONE)


The order comes as Yangzijiang Group’s New Yangzi Shipbuilding is in the midst of delivering a class of seven 15,000 TEU vessels to be operated by ONE and owned by Seaspan. The fifth vessel, ONE Focus, was delivered at the end of last week as part of a contract that was placed in 2022.

In December, ONE took delivery on the last of six ultra-large boxships each with a capacity of over 24,000 TEU built in Japan. Using this class, ONE set new records in November and December for the highest TEU levels loaded on a single ship. The record now stands at 22,000 TEU with the loading of ONE Innovation in Singapore on December 14.

The company in March 2023 hedged its move toward alternative fuels ordering 10 ammonia/methanol-ready containerships to be delivered in 2025 and 2026, each with a capacity of 13,700 TEU. This followed a previous order for 10 conventual-fueled containerships to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Nihon Shipyard.

ONE emphasizes that the new ships are being built to meet customer demand and part of its long-term strategy to evolve into a vessel owner. The designs they said are adaptable for future changes in the global market. ONE is currently the sixth largest carrier with a capacity of approximately 1.8 million TEU according to Alphaliner. The company CEO Jeremy Nixon in 2022 said the strategy would be to invest in 150,000 TEU of capacity annually although some of the additions are being built to replace older ships. He had predicted that ONE would deploy its first alternative fuel vessel by 2030.