Maersk introduces eight vessels to operate on methanol

Copenhagen – A.P. Moller – Maersk plans to introduce the first in a series of eight large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol.

The vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and have a nominal capacity of about 16,000 containers. The agreement with HHI includes an option for four additional vessels in 2025. The series will replace older vessels, generating annual CO2 emissions savings of around one million tonnes.

“The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge,” said Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk. “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 de-carbonize their supply chains. Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizeable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed.”

The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure for the dual fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol and conventional low sulphur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15 per cent of the total price.

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, the company said as it requires a significant production ramp up of proper carbon neutral methanol production.

The vessels will have a flexible operational profile, enabling them to perform efficiently across many trades, and add flexibility. They will feature a methanol propulsion configuration developed in collaboration with makers including MAN ES, Hyundai (Himsen) and Alfa Laval which represents a scale-up of the technology from the previous size limit of around 2,000 TEU.