A.P. Moller – Maersk says that in the first quarter of 2024 it will introduce the first in a series of up to 12 large ocean-going containerships capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol. The 16,000 TEU vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and the initial agreement with the shipbuilder for eight ships includes an option for an additional four vessels in 2025.
The vessels will have dual fuel engines and Maersk says the additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the dual fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional low sulfur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15% of the total price.
Those MAN B&W engines will be the largest methanol-fueled engines yet built.
The ships’ methanol propulsion configuration has been developed in collaboration with MAN Energy Solutions, Hyundai (Himsen) and Alfa Laval and 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 Danish flags.
CUSTOMERS EYE SUPPLY CHAIN DECARBONIZATION
More than half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers have set—or are in the process of setting—ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains. As part of Maersk’s ongoing collaboration with customers, corporate sustainability leaders including Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, HP Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, Procter and Gamble, Puma, Schneider Electric, Signify, Syngenta and Unilever have committed to actively use and scale zero-carbon solutions for their ocean transport, with many more expected to follow.
“The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge,” says A.P. Moller – Maersk CEO Søren Skou. “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 decarbonize 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.”
GREEN FUEL SUPPLY CHALLENGE
Maersk says it will operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol “as soon as possible.” However, it adds 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 new vessels will replace tonnage of more than 150,000 TEU which is reaching the end of its life and will leave the Maersk managed fleet between 2020 and first quarter 2024.