In the first quarter of 2024, A.P. Moller – Maersk plans to introduce the first of eight large ocean-going container vessels capable of running on carbon neutral methanol.
The 16,000 TEU vessels, which will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), will be equipped with a dual fuel engine setup to operate on both methanol and low-sulphur fuel.
The agreement with HHI includes an option for 4 additional vessels in 2025. The series will replace older vessels, generating annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tonnes.
Maersk will operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible. Sourcing an adequate amount of carbon neutral methanol from day one in service will be challenging, as it requires a significant production ramp up of proper carbon neutral methanol production, for which Maersk continues to engage in partnerships and collaborations with relevant players.
The vessels will be designed to have a flexible operational profile, enabling them to perform efficiently across many trades, and add flexibility regarding customer needs. They will feature a methanol propulsion configuration 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 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 and leaving the Maersk managed fleet between 2020 and Q1 2024.
CAPEX for the announced vessels is included in current guidance for 2021-2022 of USD 7bn.
“We are very excited about this addition to our fleet, which will offer our customers unique access to carbon neutral transport on the high seas while balancing their needs for competitive slot costs and flexible operations. To us, this is the ideal large vessel type to enable sustainable, global trade on the high seas in the coming decades and from our dialogue with potential suppliers, we are confident we will manage to source the carbon neutral methanol needed,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO, fleet & strategic brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk.
“The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge. This 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. Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed,” said Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk.