Maersk Proves Sustainability on the Seas is Possible

Maersk says that by 2023 it will operate a carbon neutral vessel, which it claims will be the first.

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Ocean liners are known to significantly contribute to climate change and the Earth's pollution as a whole, and like many other sectors of logistics, companies on the seas are looking to new technologies to reduce their carbon footprint.  A.P. Moller - Maersk originally outlined a timeline to go carbon neutral by the year 2030, but it now reveals that its carbon neutral liner will be ahead of schedule by seven years, hitting the seas in 2023. The company also states that all of its new buildings will have dual fuel technology, which means they will all either be carbon neutral operations or operation on standard very low Sulphur fuel oil. By 2030, Maersk hopes to reduce relative carbon in shipping by 60% and by 2050, have net-zero emissions. 

Per Maersk

  • Around 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, and the figure is on the rise.
  • Maersk’s methanol feeder vessel will have a capacity of around 2000 TEU and be deployed in one of its intra-regional networks. While the vessel will be able to operate on standard VLSFO, the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one. Both the methanol-fueled feeder vessel and the decision to install dual fuel engines on future newbuildings are part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet replacement. CAPEX implications will be manageable and are included in current guidance.
  • A key collaboration partner is the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, non-profit research and development center, that works across sectors, organisations, research areas and regulators to accelerate the development and implementation of new energy systems and technologies.

“It will be a significant challenge to source an adequate supply of carbon neutral methanol within our timeline to pioneer this technology. Our success relies on customers embracing this groundbreaking product and strengthened collaboration with fuel manufacturers, technology partners and developers to ramp up production fast enough. We believe our aspiration to put the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel in operation by 2023 is the best way to kick start the rapid scaling of carbon neutral fuels we will need,” says Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of fleet & strategic brands, A.P. Moller - Maersk, in a statement.