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Maersk to Build First Carbon-Neutral Methanol Container Ship

A.P. Moller-Maersk and Hyundai Mipo Dockyards have agreed on a contract for Hyundai Mipo to build a feeder vessel with a dual engine technology that will allow it to sail on either methanol or traditional “very low sulfur” fuel.

Maersk announced the intention to order the vessel, an industry first, in February. It will fly the Danish flag.

“This groundbreaking container vessel shows that scalable solutions to properly solve shipping’s emissions challenge are available already today,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands at Maersk, said. “From 2023, it will give us valuable experience in operating the container vessels of the future, while offering a truly carbon neutral product for our many customers who look to us for help to decarbonize their supply chains.”

The 2,100 TEU (20-foot container or equivalent unit) feeder vessel will be 172 meters long and will sail in the network of Sealand Europe, a Maersk subsidiary, on the Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia. The methanol propulsion configuration for the vessel will be developed by MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Engine and Machinery (main engine) and Himsen (auxiliary engine) in collaboration with Hyundai Mipo and Maersk. The classification society will be the American Bureau of Shipping.

“Developing this vessel is a significant challenge, but we have already come a long way in our work with the yard and the makers to reach this milestone,” Ole Graa Jakobsen, head of fleet technology at Maersk, said. “While we are pioneering these solutions for our industry, we are working with well-proven technologies and the cost potential from further scaling is becoming very clear to us.”

More than half of Maersk’s largest customers have set or are in the process of setting ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains, making the order another important step in the Maersk efforts to support the rising number of customers calling for carbon neutral products, the company said.

A.P. Moller-Maersk is an integrated container logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. The company operates in 130 countries and employs approximately 80,000 people.