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MAERSK TO INTRODUCE NEW LARGE METHANOL FUELLED BOXSHIPS IN 2024

MAERSK TO INTRODUCE NEW LARGE METHANOL FUELLED BOXSHIPS IN 2024

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 

A.P. Moller-Maersk plans to introduce the first in a series of eight large ocean-going container newbulds capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol in the first quarter of 2024.

The vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and have a nominal capacity of about 16,000 TEU. 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 1 million tonnes. In what Maersk claims as an industry first, the vessels will offer customers truly carbon neutral transportation at scale in ocean transportation.

The company says that more than half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers, including many well-known brands, have set – or are in the process of setting – ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains. These customers have committed to actively use and scale zero carbon solutions for their ocean transport, with many more expected to follow.

The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the dual fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional low Sulphur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15% of the total price, enabling Maersk to take a significant leap forward in its commitment to scale carbon neutral solutions and lead the decarbonisation of container logistics.

Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller-Maersk, said: “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.”

Maersk will operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible. However, the company considers that 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 ABS and sail under the Danish flag.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO, Fleet and Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller-Maersk, said: “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.”

The new vessels come as part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal programme 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 US$ 7bn. Maersk further reiterates its strategy of maintaining a fleet capacity in the 4.0 to 4.3 million TEU range, as a combination of Maersk managed and time-chartered vessels.

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