Maersk green-methanol engine retrofit could open door for many more

Written by Nick Blenkey
Green-methanol engine retrofit engine

First green-methanol engine retrofits will see MAN B&W 8G95ME-C9.5 engines retrofitted to dual-fuel MAN B&W 8G95ME-LGIM10.5 types able to operate on fuel-oil/methanol.

In a shipping industry first, A.P. Moller – Maersk is to retrofit an existing ship to a dual-fuel vessel able to operate on green methanol. It has signed an agreement with PrimeServ – MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division — that will see of the first of eleven green-methanol engine retrofits carried out in mid-2024. The intention is to replicate this on sister vessels set for special survey in 2027.

“We have set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2040 across the entire business and have taken a leading role in decarbonizing logistics. Retrofitting of engines to run on methanol is an important lever in our strategy,” said Leonardo Sonzio, head of fleet management and technology at Maersk. “With this initiative, we wish to pave the way for future scalable retrofit programs in the industry and thereby accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green fuels. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that methanol retrofits can be a viable alternative to newbuildings.”

“In 2021, we ordered the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel following a commitment to the principle of only ordering newbuilt vessels that can sail on green fuels,” said Sonzio. “Concurrently, we have explored the potential in retrofitting existing vessels with dual-fuel methanol engines. Having teamed up with MAN ES, we are now ready to demonstrate how retrofitting vessels with methanol dual-fuel capabilities can be done.”

Maersk notes that, while retrofitting engines is “a rather complex task,” it is only a part of the larger retrofit operation and that new fuel tanks, fuel preparation room and fuel supply system are also a part of retrofitting the vessel for green methanol.

“Detailed engineering for the first retrofit is ongoing and the actual implementation will take place in the middle of 2024,” said Ole Graa Jakobsen, head of fleet technology at Maersk. “Meanwhile, discussions with potential yards are ongoing.”

MAN Energy Solutions says that the contract with MAN PrimeServ covers the retrofit of the main engines in 11 container vessels equipped with MAN B&W 8G95ME-C9.5 prime movers. These will be retrofitted to dual-fuel MAN B&W 8G95ME-LGIM10.5 types capable of operation on fuel-oil/methanol.

The first vessel will be retrofitted in mid-2024. PrimeServ will provide a solutions package comprising engineering, parts, project management, onsite technical assistance at the shipyard, sea-trial assistance and recertification service during the work.

The Maersk green-methanol engine retrofit project is likely to attract a lot of industry attention. With decarbonization goals and regulations only set to get tighter, even expensive retrofits are less costly than newbuildings.


“Switching to low-carbon fuel is the most effective way to decarbonize the existing maritime fleet,” said Michael Petersen, senior vice president – head of PrimeServ Denmark. In this respect, the container segment has led the maritime energy transition over the past two years with a large proportion of newbuildings opting for dual-fuel engines. Similarly, retrofits to dual-fuel also represent an excellent way to decarbonize while enabling shipowners to maintain their assets’ value and avoid the unnecessary building of additional tonnage.”

Klaus Rasmussen, head of projects and PVU Sales, MAN PrimeServ, said: “Part of our strategy is to act as a solution partner for our customers and help them attain their decarbonization goals. In that context, these will be the first-ever methanol retrofits performed on two-stroke engines and will enable emissions reduction when operating on green methanol. Retrofitting an MAN B&W engine to dual-fuel running is straightforward as our standard, electronically-controlled ME-C diesel engines are constructed as ‘dual-fuel ready’ and therefore readily retrofittable.”

The Maerk green methanol engine retrofit contract closely follows the recent announcement of the completion of the FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) of the first engine in Maersk’s Equinox class newbuildings that are also equipped with MAN B&W 8G95ME-LGIM10.5 dual-fuel methanol engines.

First green-methanol engine retrofits will see MAN B&W 8G95ME-C9.5 engines retrofitted to dual-fuel MAN B&W 8G95ME-LGIM10.5 types able to operate on fuel-oil/methanol.

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