709 energy-efficient electric motors on the world’s largest LNG carriers

On nine record-breaking LNG-driven container ships, 709 Hoyer Motors electric motors will assist vital pump and ventilation systems. By combining low-environmental-impact gas propulsion with energy-efficient motors and VFD solutions, ship owners can reduce their total CO2 emissions.


Several world records were broken when the ship CMA CGM Jacques Saadé embarked on her maiden voyage from China to Europe in September. With a cargo capacity of 23,000 twenty-foot containers and a length of 400 metres, the container ship is the largest of its kind in the world to be powered solely by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The French-owned giant is the first in a series of nine and will be built at the CSSC Jiangnan-Changxing yard in Shanghai over the next 14 to 18 months. On each of the nine enormous structures, Hoyer’s Chinese division will provide several energy-efficient IE2 motors under three of its OEM customers.

Growing pains in the LNG ship market

The large shipbuilding project in China is a current example of the marine industry’s increasing focus on the environment and the green transition: Hoyer has noticed an increased demand for energy-efficient motors and VFD solutions. Growing awareness of LNG as an eco-friendly propellant represents an opportunity.

"In the coming years, we will undoubtedly see greater numbers of LNG-propelled ships. Right now, they are driving the market in countries such as South Korea and Singapore. This is a complex niche market where there are sky-high demands on suppliers and where we have to be ready to develop our skills on an ongoing basis.

“Like many other industries, the green transition tops the maritime agenda. Although electric motors are small pieces in a big puzzle, their importance should not be underestimated. The ship is dependent on the motors to drive the pump system’s supply of water and for ventilation to function. And with so many motors on each ship, energy optimisation provides a huge overall benefit,” says Michael Mantzius Andersen, Hoyer’s Sales Director in Asia.

Important parts of a whole

Hoyer’s contribution comes in two parts. First, IE2 motors of varying sizes for pump applications in the ship’s engine compartment. Among other things, these will supply cooling water and oil to the large main engines driving the ship’s shaft. Second, the explosion-proof marine motors for applications that power the ventilation of the ship’s valuable cargo hold.

“As a subcontractor, Hoyer obviously plays a minor role in the project. But in the supply chain, we exert significant influence on timely delivery of vessels to the shipowner,” Michael Mantzius Andersen says, continuing:

“There are many manufacturers of electric motors. Only a few however are able to supply motors and provide the sort of services that prompt a customer to see the company as a preferred supplier. In addition to fast delivery, necessary attributes include technical customer service, flexibility and cooperation with the classification societies.

Speed is key

New construction in the marine industry is traditionally associated with high costs: delays in the construction process can have serious financial consequences. This makes speed crucial to Hoyer as an external supplier of electric motors.

"We strive to achieve speed everything we do for the customer. Fast decisions, fast response times, fast delivery and fast clarification of the customer’s requirements. This means that we promptly resolve any problems that may arise for OEMs, shipyards and shipowners,” Michael Mantzius Andersen says.


  • Built for the French shipping company CMA CGM
  • Shipyard: The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) HUDONG and JIANGNAN
  • Route: Asia-Europe
  • Load capacity: 23,000 TEU (twenty-foot containers)
  • Tonnage: 220,000 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 400 metres long and 61 metres wide
  • LNG tank capacity: 18,600 m³, enough for two months’ at sea
  • Maximum engine power: 63,840 kW

About the motors from Hoyer Motors

For various applications in the ship’s engine compartment:

  • Motor type: IE2 marine engines
  • Output: 0.64–290 kW
  • Applications include ballast pump, oil pump, hot water circulation pump, fire pump, main engine oil pump, sea water cooling pump

For applications in ship’s cargo space ventilation

  • Motor types: IE2 marine motors: Explosion-proof and standard
  • Output: 0.8–12.5 kW
  • ATEX and IECEx certified