The Hamburg-based John T. Essberger shipping company has put the first of a total of four new chemical tankers into service.

The newly built vessel was christened with the traditional name of ‘LISELOTTE ESSBERGER’ on the occasion of its first visit to Hamburg today, 6 December 2023. The christening patron was Ms Greet Verheyden, Logistics Manager at Borealis, a leading manufacturer of polyolefins and a long-standing customer of the shipping company.

LNG propulsion with the aid of MKS funding support

Construction of the ship was supported by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with funding totalling 1.58 million euros to partially offset the additional costs for the ship’s LNG propulsion as part of the implementation of the German government’s Mobility and Fuels Strategy (MKS – Mobilitäts- und Kraftstoffstrategie). The funding programme is being coordinated by NOW GmbH.

The LISELOTTE ESSBERGER (7,134 dwt) was built at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Yangzhou) Dingheng Co. Ltd., on the Yangtze. The first voyage after commissioning was from the port of loading in northern China via Singapore, the Suez Canal through the Mediterranean northwards to Hamina in Finland, and finally to Hamburg.

Technical specifications

The newbuild vessel is an ice-going (1A) chemical tanker with 16 stainless steel tanks. Overall length 116.6 metres, width 18 metres, draught 9.2 metres. Crew: 15 persons. The main propulsion system is a MAN dual fuel type 6L35/44 engine with 3,180 kW/4,325 hp at 750 rpm, which can be fuelled with marine gas oil (diesel) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) as required. This engine complies with the high Tier III environmental quality standard and is designed for a cruising speed of 12.5 knots.

The ship travelled the majority of its first voyage in LNG mode. The tank on deck for the liquefied gas has a capacity of 350 cubic metres. This is enough for a distance of around 4,200 nautical miles.

Liselotte von Rantzau-Essberger (1918–1993), who gave the ship her name, was the daughter of the shipping company’s founder John T. Essberger. She was at the helm of the company for 30 years. The naming ceremony took place on 6 December 2023 at 12 noon at the Altona cruise terminal in the Port of Hamburg.