This week, Chamber member A.P. Moller – Maersk announced that it will introduce the first in a groundbreaking series of 8 large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol in 2024. The vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and have a nominal capacity of approx. 16,000 containers (Twenty Foot Equivalent – TEU). The agreement with HHI includes an option for 4 additional vessels in 2025. The series will replace older vessels, generating annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tonnes. The vessels will offer Maersk customers carbon neutral transportation at scale on the high seas.
The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure 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. Maersk intends to operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible. Maersk acknowledges 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 the American Bureau of Shipping and sail under the Danish flag.