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Maersk to operate world’s first methanol fuelled, carbon neutral feeder vessel by 2023

18 Feb 2021

A.P. Moller-Maersk on Wednesday (17 February) said it will launch the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel in 2023 – seven years ahead of the initial 2030-ambition.

Additionally, all future Maersk owned new buildings will have dual fuel technology installed, enabling either carbon neutral operations or operation on standard very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).

“A.P. Moller – Maersk’s ambition is to lead the way in decarbonising global logistics. Our customers expect us to help them decarbonise their global supply chains, and we are embracing the challenge, working on solving the practical, technical and safety challenges inherent in the carbon neutral fuels we need in the future,” said Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“Our ambition to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced in 2018. Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach.”

Maersk noted its methanol feeder vessel will have a capacity of around 2,000 TEU and be deployed in one of its intra-regional networks. While the vessel will be able to operate on standard VLSFO, the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one.

“It will be a significant challenge to source an adequate supply of carbon neutral methanol within our timeline to pioneer this technology,” added Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“Our success relies on customers embracing this groundbreaking product and strengthened collaboration with fuel manufacturers, technology partners and developers to ramp up production fast enough.”

Both the methanol-fuelled feeder vessel and the decision to install dual fuel engines on future newbuildings are part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet replacement. CAPEX implications will be manageable and are included in current guidance.

“Our ambition to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced in 2018. Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach,” said Skou.

Maersk said it will continue to explore several carbon neutral fuel pathways and expects multiple fuel solutions to exist alongside each other in the future. Methanol (e-methanol and bio-methanol), alcohol-lignin blends and ammonia remain the primary fuel candidates for the future.

A key collaboration partner is the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, non-profit research and development center, that works across sectors, organisations, research areas and regulators to accelerate the development and implementation of new energy systems and technologies.

Related: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping founded by industry majors

Photo credit: A.P. Moller-Maersk
Published: 18 February, 2021

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