709 energy-efficient electric motors on the world's largest LNG-driven containers

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 20-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 14-18 months. On each of the nine enormous constructions, 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 green conversion: Hoyer has noticed an increased demand for energy-efficient motors and VFD solutions. Growing awareness of LNG as a low environmental impact propulsion system represents an opportunity.

“In the coming years, we will see greater numbers of LNG-propelled ships. Right now, they are driving the market in countries such as Korea and Singapore. This is a complex niche market where there are very 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 is at the top of 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 the 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. These will, among other things, supply cooling water and oil to the large main engines that drive the ship’s shaft. Second are the explosion-proof marine motors for applications that drive 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”, says Andersen.

“There are many manufacturers of electric motors. Only a few however are able to both supply motors and offer the sort of services that raise their profile to that of a preferred manufacturer. 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; and delays in the construction process can have serious financial consequences. Speed is therefore crucial for Hoyer in its role as a subcontractor of electric motors.

“We strive to achieve speed in 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 are fast to solve any problems that may arise for OEM’s, shipyards and shipowners”, says Andersen.


  • Built for French shipping company CMA CGM
  • Route: Asia-Europe
  • Load capacity: 23,000 TEU (twenty-foot containers)
  • Weight Tonnage: 220,000 tonnes
  • Dimensions: 400 metres long and 61 metres wide
  • LNG tank capacity: 18,600 m3 – enough for two months’ sailing
  • Maximum engine power: 63,840 kW

About 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

Want to know more about marine applications?

The Markets section on Hoyer’s website gives information on access to the marine market, typical applications and information on testing and classification.