Maersk orders world’s first methanol-fueled container vessel

Methanol-powered ship
Photo courtesy of A.P. Moller – Maersk

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Methanol-powered ship

Shipping company Maersk has signed a shipbuilding contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyards for the world’s first carbon-neutral methanol-powered container ship.

The feeder vessel, which will fly the Danish flag, will use a dual engine technology that allows it to sail on methanol or traditional fuel with very low sulfur content.

Maersk announced its intention to order the vessel on February 17, 2021.

“This groundbreaking container vessel shows that scalable solutions to properly solve shipping’s emissions challenge are available already today. 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,” says Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The feeder vessel will be 172 meters long and will sail on the network of Sealand Europe, a subsidiary of Maersk, on the Baltic sea route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia.

MAN and Hyundai together in the project

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. Classification society will be the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

“Developing this vessel is a significant challenge, but we have come a long way in our work with the shipyard and manufacturers to reach this milestone. While we are pioneering these solutions for our industry, we are working with proven technologies and the potential for additional escalation cost is becoming very clear to us,” said Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

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 Maersk’s efforts to support the growing number of customers that ask for carbon neutral products.