Danish shipping giant Maersk is celebrating the launch of the world’s first green methanol-powered containership.
The vessel, a 2,100 TEU capacity feeder ship, is the first of 19 carbon-neutral ships Maersk has on order that will be powered by green methanol fuel.
The 172-meter-long vessel was ordered in July 2021 from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea with delivery planned for later this year. The vessel will be operated by Maersk’s Sealand Europe brand, a subsidiary that Maersk is in the process of integrating into the “Maersk” moniker, on the Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia.
In August 2021, Maersk ordered another eight 16,000 TEU green methanol-powered ships from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, and later exercised options for four additional sister ships. In November 2022, the company announced an additional order at HHI for six 17,000 TEU methanol-powered ships. The 18 ships being built by HHI are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025.
Maersk has set ambitious sustainability goals, aiming to become carbon neutral by 2040, which is a decade ahead of most other companies in the sector. The company has also set nearer-term targets that call for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity from its ocean fleet and a 70% reduction in absolute emissions from its fully controlled terminals by 2030.
To power its methanol-fuelled fleet, Maersk has been busy lining up suppliers to source the approximately one million metric tons of green methanol fuel per year that the vessels will require. This will save about 2.3 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually, compared to conventionally-fuelled ships.
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