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Maersk to deploy first large methanol-powered vessel on Asia-Europe trade lane in 2024

Ship will enter service on the AE7 string connecting Asia and Europe, which includes port calls in Shanghai and Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, with Ningbo in China, being its first destination.

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Maersk to deploy first large methanol-powered vessel on Asia-Europe trade lane in 2024

A.P. Moller - Maersk (Maersk) on Thursday (7 December) said it was about to launch the first of its 18 large methanol-enabled vessels currently on order. 

On 9 February 2024, the ship will enter service on the AE7 string connecting Asia and Europe, which includes port calls in Shanghai, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo and Hamburg, with Ningbo, China, being its first destination.

“The container vessel built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea has a nominal capacity of 16,000 containers (TEU) and is equipped with a dual-fuel engine enabling operations on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional bunker fuel,” the firm said. 

Maersk added it has secured sufficient green methanol to cover the vessel’s maiden voyage and continues to work diligently on 2024-25 sourcing solutions for its methanol-enabled vessel fleet.

“Deploying the first of our large methanol-enabled vessels on one of the world’s largest trade lanes, Asia - Europe, is a landmark in our journey towards our Net-Zero target. With the vessel’s capacity of 16,000 containers, this will make a significant impact in our customers’ efforts to decarbonise their supply chains, and we are looking forward to introducing more methanol-enabled vessels on this and other trades during 2024,” Karsten Kildahl Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk, said. 

Ahead of its deployment, the vessel will be named at the shipyard in end January 2024. The following two sister vessels will be deployed in the first half of 2024 with naming events taking place in Yokohama, Japan, and Los Angeles, USA. Maersk said it was expected to take delivery of four additional sister vessels in the second half of 2024.

At the time of deployment of the first large vessel, it will be the only second container vessel in the world that can sail on green methanol, the first being the feeder vessel Laura Maersk which entered service in September this year.

Overview of Maersk vessels on order

  • Maersk has 24 container vessels on order
  • All vessels currently on order will be equipped with dual-fuel engines and will be able to operate on green methanol
  • 12 of the vessels on order have a capacity of 16,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers)
  • 6 of the vessels on order have a capacity of 17,000 TEU
  • 6 of the vessels on order have a capacity of 9,000 TEU
  • Since 2021, Maersk has had a policy of only ordering new vessels able to operate on green fuels

About Maersk’s AE7 service string

  • The AE7 string connects Asia and Europe through the Suez Canal
  • The AE7 string has the following port calls: Ningbo, Shanghai, Nansha, Yantian (all China), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Port Tangiers (Morocco), Felixstowe (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), London Gateway (UK), Le Havre (France), Port Tangiers, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Jebel Ali (UAE)

Photo credit: A.P. Moller - Maersk
Published: 11 December, 2023

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Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

New vessel will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100; can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol bunker fuel.

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Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

Singapore-based marine fuel supplier Vitol Bunkers on Thursday (22 February) said it has taken delivery of the Marine Future, its first specialised bunker barge in Singapore, strengthening its position in Asia’s expanding biofuel bunker market.

The addition of this specialised IMO type 2 notation bunker tanker to the V-Bunkers fleet will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100, depending on customer specifications.

Built in China, Marine Future is 102.6m in length and has the capacity to carry about 7,000 MT of biofuels.

“The current fleet of bunker tankers in Singapore are classified as ‘oil tankers’ and are therefore restricted to a maximum of 25% bio component in biofuel blends. This new bunker tanker has no such restriction, hence can deliver bunker fuels consisting of 100% bio component (B100),” the firm said in a statement.

“Biofuels are a key pathway for the hard-to-abate shipping sector to mitigate emissions. Biofuel sales in Singapore reached 520,000 tonnes in 2023 according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), representing a material increase on the prior year where volumes were 140,000 tonnes.”

“We are delighted to now be able to offer our maritime customers the option to take up to 100% bio component bunker fuel here in Singapore and play our part in advancing the port’s decarbonisation efforts. Should there be demand, this vessel can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol” said Mike Muller, head of Vitol Asia.

Related: Vitol targets Singapore for Asia biofuel growth with bunker barges arrival in 2024
Related: Vitol chooses ZeroNorth e-BDN solution in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Vitol
Published: 22 February, 2024

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Methanol

Auramarine, Yiu Lian Dockyards and Guangzhou Jihai ink deal for methanol DF systems

All parties signed a cooperation agreement to drive the implementation and uptake of methanol dual fuel systems as a viable and available new fuel to support the shipping industry.

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Auramarine, Yiu Lian Dockyards and Guangzhou Jihai ink deal for methanol DF systems

Auramarine, a provider of fuel supply systems for the marine, power and process industries, on Wednesday (21 February) said it has signed a cooperation agreement with Yiu Lian Dockyards (Shekou) Co., Ltd.  and Guangzhou Jihai Shipping Material Co. Ltd. to drive the implementation and uptake of methanol dual fuel systems as a viable and available new fuel to support the shipping industry in improving its sustainability and meeting decarbonisation targets.

Following the growth and opportunity of methanol as a future fuel, Auramarine will collaborate with Guangzhou Jihai to deliver an efficient, one-stop service to Yiu Lian Shipyard.  

This will include the integration of methanol supply units, bunker stations, deep well pumps, fuel tank instruments, PV valves, gas detection and leak detection, instrument air control systems, SS Links ESD systems, water glycol heat exchange, MFSS system debugging and training.

As Yiu Lian Shipyard’s prioritised provider of methanol fuel supply systems and related infrastructure, Auramarine will also provide technical support and collaboration.

John Bergman, CEO, Auramarine, said: “We are excited to embark on this tripartite cooperation with Yiu Lian Dockyards and Guangzhou Jihai to promote the development and adoption of methanol as a viable new fuel to comply with environmental regulations, reduce carbon emissions and meet industry decarbonisation targets.”

“This initiative underscores Auramarine’s commitment to collaborating with industry stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions in the maritime industry. Together, we aim to set new standards for green shipping, making a positive impact on the environment and the industry as a whole.”

Yiu Lian Shipyard is committed to researching various alternative energy supply systems, carbon reduction, and on-board emission reduction measures, and has rich experience in related renovation. As a representative of China’s shipbuilding industry, Yiu Lian Shipyard has become the preferred choice for a number of major shipowners’ methanol renovation projects.

As a leading trusted supplier, Guangzhou Jihai has worked in partnership with Yiu Lian Shipyard, providing efficient and effective services for many years.

 

Photo credit: Auramarine
Published: 22 February, 2024

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Methanol

Unifeeder Group to add methanol-capable container feeder duo to European network

Latest agreement is in partnership with German-based ship owning group Elbdeich Reederei and Norwegian shipowner MPC Container Ships, who are responsible for one vessel each.

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Unifeeder Group to add methanol-capable container feeder duo to European network

Unifeeder Group on Monday (19 February) said it successfully completed a long-term charter agreement for two additional methanol-capable container feeder vessels. 

This follows the agreement for two initial vessels announced in October 2023. 

The latest agreement is in partnership with German-based ship owning group Elbdeich Reederei and Norwegian shipowner MPC Container Ships (MPCC), who are responsible for one vessel each. The 1,250 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2026, will be deployed on Unifeeder’s European network.

The addition of these new vessels reinforces the group’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions across its network. Simultaneously, Unifeeder is enhancing fuel efficiency throughout the fleet while increasing the utilisation of bio bunker fuels in its conventional vessels.

In alignment with its parent company, DP World, Unifeeder collaborates with industry partners to address the challenge of renewable methanol supply. This requires off-take commitments to establish production at the scale needed to replace conventional fossil fuels within the industry.

Jesper Kristensen, Group CEO of Unifeeder Group, said: “Building upon our commitment to methanol-powered vessels last year, this marks another significant stride towards the green transformation of our fleet and operations.”

“We anticipate the vessels to enter into operation in the next two years, advancing our steadfast commitment to sustainable solutions. We offer our customers alternatives that align with their sustainability journeys while making meaningful progress towards our own ambitious decarbonisation goals.”

The investment in the two new additional ships further supports Unifeeder Group’s decarbonisation plan. Surpassing the industry average, Unifeeder has committed to a 25% reduction of emissions by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2050 with no new fossil greenhouse gas emissions. 

It aims to achieve this by emphasising fuel-efficient practices, regular maintenance and refitting processes of the existing fleet and fostering a culture of learning and collaboration, sharing best practices across markets to drive effective carbon reduction strategies.

Related: Unifeeder inks time-charter deal for up to four methanol powered vessels

 

Photo credit: Unifeeder Group
Published: 20 February, 2024

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