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Danish ocean container shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk aims to have eight ships in operation by 2024 that use carbon-neutral methanol as fuel. According to the company, this will yield an annual CO2 emission reduction of about 1 million tonnes. With shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), an option has been agreed upon to build four more of these vessels in 2025 with a capacity of 16000 containers.

The new ships replace the older ones that still run on heavy fuel oil. The company says it has taken this step in consultation with its clients, who are keen to do business in a CO2-neutral way. These include major brands such as Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, Microsoft, Signify and Unilever.

Dual-fuel motor

The ships are equipped with a dual fuel engine. This enables them to sail on both methanol and conventional low-sulfur fuel. A.P. Moller – Maersk is thus aiming to take the lead in decarbonizing container shipping logistics.

“Now is the time to act if we want to resolve the climate challenge that maritime shipping poses,” says CEO Soren Skou. “There are already carbon-neutral solutions available across all segments of container ships. Maersk is committed to working with the growing number of clients who want to decarbonize their supply chains. What’s more, this is a powerful signal to fuel producers that significant market demand is rapidly opening up for the green fuels of the future.”

The ships will run on carbon-neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol. The company states that it will be a challenge to obtain a sufficient quantity of carbon-neutral methanol from day one of operation. This is because it calls for a significant increase in production of carbon-neutral methanol.

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