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MÆRSK BACKS MARITIME INDUSTRY LEADERS IN DECARBONISATION MOVE

Thursday, June 25, 2020 

A.P. Møller-Mærsk says that a group of leading industry players are taking the next step to develop new fuel types and technologies, adding to the shipping industry's commitment to reduce its global carbon emissions towards 2050.

The new initiative, to be known as the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, has the backing of partners ABS, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Siemens Energy, as well as A.P. Møller-Mærsk. The A.P. Møller Foundation has provided funding of DKK 400m to set up the new Copenhagen-based Centre. .

A.P. Møller Foundation Board Chairman Ane Uggla said: “With this donation, The A. P. Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping. My father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than seven decades. He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already in the 1980s he championed the use of low sulphur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990s to minimise the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my Father’s name will be connected to the centre.”

The centre will be a non-profit organisation, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research centre, it will work across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and authorities. A highly specialised, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonisation pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonising fuels and powering technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable transformation.

Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Joining this partnership makes perfect sense for us as our business strategy is already significantly underpinned by system technologies that are leading our customers to a decarbonised future. We welcome the opportunity to work with industry partners in achieving this strategy and have publicly spoken in favour of a ‘maritime energy transition’ for some time now, which draws on the increased use of low-emission fuels. The concrete targets set for carbon neutrality and the first zero-emission vessel are bold but will undoubtedly hasten their respective developments, in which we are very happy to play our part.”

To define the strategic direction of the centre, a Board of Directors is being established. Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller–Mærsk has been confirmed as Board Member. Additional members of the Board of Directors will be announced upon appointment.

Skou said: “The founding partners and the A.P. Møller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonize the shipping industry. The establishment of the centre is a quantum leap towards realizing that ambition. This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies. I am looking forward to join the Board of this ambitious collaboration.”

The centre's management will be headed by Bo Cerup-Simonsen as CEO. Cerup-Simonsen holds a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark in Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and has a proven track record in leadership of large-scale industry projects, maritime technology, research and innovation. He said: “This is the early days of a demanding and necessary transformation of an entire industry. Thanks to the A.P. Møller Foundation and the support from industry-leading partners we now have a unique opportunity to unfold the potential of a sector-wide collaboration towards complete decarbonisation. The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping provides a solid platform for the entire eco-system to join forces, demonstrate new solutions and identify the next steps to make it happen. I’m excited to let the work begin, expanding the collaboration with a broad variety of contributors.”

The founding partner companies bring a common commitment to decarbonising shipping and specialised knowledge and research capabilities. Furthermore, the founding partners will donate expert people resources and/or testing platforms to support the operations. The Centre expects to attract several more partner companies in the future.

During the first two to three years the centre will recruit around 100 employees to the Copenhagen-based office and collaborate with new partners across the globe. The founding partner companies have committed one-third of the needed staff, the remaining two-thirds will be recruited independently. In addition to leadership and administration, the Centre staff will include subject matter experts in energy, fuels and ship technology as well as regulatory affairs, finance and the global energy transition.

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