Cosco Shipping Holdings is switching four conventionally fuelled neopanamax container ship newbuildings that it ordered three years ago to methanol dual-fuel engines.

The move is in line with the company’s target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Cosco Shipping said the switch to dual-fuel engines would involve four 16,180-teu boxships ordered in July 2021 for $155m each at the Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry yard in Yangzhou (Cosco HI Yangzhou).

It said the upgrade would cost $28.5m per vessel or $114m in total.

The final price would be $183.5m for each ship with the fuel switch.

The newbuildings were due for delivery between June 2025 and December 2025, but this has now been moved to between November 2025 and June 2026.


In March, Cosco Shipping commissioned Cosco HI to upgrade four trading container ships — two 13,800-teu and two 20,000-teu vessels — to methanol dual-fuel engines.

It did not identify the vessels but said the project would involve MAN main and Wartsila auxiliary engines.

Retrofitting is scheduled to start in mid-2025.

Carbon emissions for the retrofitted vessels will be reduced by about 360,000 tonnes per year and extend the life of the ships, the company said.

Last year, Cosco Shipping splashed out $2.89bn to order 12 methanol dual-fuel ultra-large container ship newbuildings at two shipyards.

The ships, which have a price tag of nearly $240m each, will use dual-fuel engines by MAN Energy Solutions that will run on methanol and conventional marine fuels.

Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (Nacks) has been contracted to build seven vessels, while Dalian Cosco KHI Ship Engineering (Dacks) is constructing five.

Cosco-owned Orient Overseas Container Line will trade the Nacks vessels when delivered between the third quarters of 2026 and 2028.

Shanghai-based Cosco Shipping Lines will be operating the Dacks quintet, which is due to be handed over between February 2027 and June 2028.