26.08.2021

Maersk Accelerates Fleet Decarbonisation with 8 Ocean-going Methanol Operated Container Vessels

The new vessels come as part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal program and will replace tonnage of more than 150,000 TEU which is reaching end-of-life.

© Maersk

According to a Maersk press release, Maersk will introduce the vessels In the first quarter of 2024. Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) vessels have a nominal capacity of approx. 16,000 containers (Twenty Foot Equivalent – TEU). The agreement also includes an option for 4 additional vessels in 2025

Having a dual fuel engine setup, which enables operation on methanol and conventional low sulphur fuel will come at a Additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) of 10-15% of the total price. Bringin the total price to $175 million as estimated by Reuters.

According to the press release Maersk continues to engage in partnerships and collaborations with relevant players in sourcing an adequate amount of carbon neutral methanol as it requires a significant production ramp up of proper carbon neutral methanol production, to get the ship running on methanol from day one.

The vessels will feature a methanol propulsion configuration Maersk developed in collaboration with makers including MAN ES, Hyundai (Himsen) and Alfa Laval which represents a significant scale-up of the technology from the previous size limit of around 2,000 TEU. The vessels will be classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and sail under Danish flags.

The move is fueled by customer demand

Maersk elaborated on Tuesday that more than half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers have set – or are in the process of setting – ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains. These customers include Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, HP Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, The Procter and Gamble Company, PUMA, Schneider Electric, Signify, Syngenta and Unilever.

Maersk CEO Soren Skou stated that the order proves that carbon neutral solutions are available today across container vessel segments and that Maersk stands committed to the growing number of our customers who look to decarbonise their supply chains.

Customer comments

Leyla Ertur Head of Sustainability of the H&M Group commented on the move that “As an industry leader, H&M Group has a responsibility to fight climate change. We have the ambition to become climate neutral by 2030 and climate positive by 2040. We truly believe that our climate actions should be co-created with our partners. Maersk’s investment in large vessels operating on green methanol is an important innovative step supporting H&M Group’s climate goals within International Freight and we are proud to take part in this pioneer journey.”

Along with the Michelle Grose the Head of Logistics and Fulfilment – Unilever, who stated that “Unilever is committed to accelerating the transition to clean transport solutions, not just in our own operations but along global value chains as we work to achieve net zero emissions by 2039. With logistics and distribution accounting for around 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions footprint, it’s important that we work with partners shifting to lower carbon fuels. We are proud to partner with Maersk as they pioneer carbon neutral transportation on the high seas.”

Teksti:  Otso Aunola

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