Maersk takes biggest step yet to decarbonise container shipping

Container shipping updates

Maersk is taking the greatest action yet to decarbonise the shipping market by purchasing 8 brand-new vessels efficient in bring 16,000 containers each that can run both on conventional bunker fuel and “green” methanol.

It is the very first vessel order from the Danish shipping group, the greatest container liner worldwide, in 6 years however Maersk stated the brand-new ships would change older ones instead of include brand-new capability as freight rates skyrocket.

Maersk anticipates to take shipment of the 8 ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries in early 2024 and has an alternative for 4 more the list below year, making it the very first container shipping business to purchase big carbon-neutral vessels efficient in cruising from China to Europe and throughout the Pacific. It bought a little carbon-neutral feeder vessel in February.

Each vessel costs about $175m, about 10-15 percent more than a conventional ship as it will have the ability to operate on both bunker fuel and carbon-neutral methanol.

Carbon-neutral methanol expenses about double bunker fuel, however Maersk executives stated they believed consumers such as Amazon and H&M wanted to pay up for green transportation.

“We are putting our money where our mouth is. We do feel sufficiently secure that the technology is there to order this series of vessels,” Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, head of fleet and tactical brand names, informed the Financial Times.

Maersk stated in 2018 that it required carbon-neutral ships by 2030 to reach its net-zero objective for 2050 provided the 20- to 25-year lifecycle of a vessel.

However in the previous couple of years, the innovation advances at shipbuilders have actually increased so that the Danish group now anticipates just to purchase brand-new vessels with dual-fuel or single green fuel innovation, including its biggest vessels that can bring more than 20,000 containers.

Thygesen stated the greatest obstacle was to protect adequate green methanol for the vessels.

“We need a significant ramp-up in production. We do feel there has been a lot of chicken and egg. So we find by going out with this announcement that we can break this cycle,” she included.

Maersk has actually not made a brand-new order for a big vessel because 2015 after it emerged from the monetary crisis by developing a few of the greatest ships ever made, although it worked out an alternative for 2 extra ships in 2017.

Other container shipping lines have actually been hurrying to position brand-new orders as freight rates rocket amidst a lack of vessels to deal with the big need following the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2015, despite the fact that developing them takes a number of years.

“We would all love to have more capacity today, so we could alleviate some of the pain customers are feeling. But that is not solved by vessel ordering in the short term,” Thygesen stated.

She included that it was Maersk’s “clear ambition” that the brand-new ships run simply on green methanol in which case they would displace more than 1m tonnes of co2 each year, however that as “risk mitigation” each vessel would have the dual-fuel innovation.

“The vessels will last 20-25 years. We don’t yet know what will be the winning technology,” she stated.

Some critics argue that green methanol makes little sense due to the fact that CO2 is very first soaked up in production and after that discharged once again when charred, rather of sequestering the greenhouse gas.

Maersk stated recently that the green methanol for its feeder vessel would originate from “biogenic” CO2, which implies from natural sources, in addition to renewable resource.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.