In the first quarter of 2024, A.P. Moller – Maersk will introduce the first in a groundbreaking series of 8 large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol. 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. As an industry first, the vessels will offer Maersk customers truly carbon neutral transportation at scale on the high seas.
The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) 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 will operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible. 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 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 Danish flags.
Søren Skou, the Maersk chief executive, said: “The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge.
“This order proves that carbon neutral solutions are available today across container vessel segments and that Maersk stands committed to the growing number of our customers who look to decarbonise their supply chains.
“Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed.”
Related: Maersk Plans to Operate the World’s First Carbon Neutral Vessel by 2023
The eight vessels, which will each have capacity for 16,000 containers, are expected to be delivered by early 2024. They will be 10-15% more expensive than bunker fuel container ships, each costing $175m.