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Maersk reveals design details of its first methanol-powered feeder

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COPENHAGEN : Maersk, the Danish container shipping major, has announced the design details of its first methanol-powered vessel.

Maersk said it expects to receive the first boxship of this type by South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard soon.This is a significant milestone for the company and the industry at large.

“Our feeder vessel has a dual-fuel engine and will be able to operate on green methanol,” noted the Copenhagen-headquartered container line in a Twitter post. Maersk said that it has successfully completed all key design-related milestones and production is progressing at full speed. The vessel is expected to be delivered during the summer.

The ship,  with a capacity of around 2,000 TEU, was ordered back in 2021. 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.

The methanol propulsion configuration for the vessel will be developed by MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Engine and Machinery (main engine) and Himsen (aux engine) in collaboration with Hyundai Mipo and Maersk. The vessel will be classed by the American Bureau of Shipping, Maersk said earlier.

Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology at Maersk, expressed his happiness with the progress made on the project.

“It has been a huge project, but we have succeeded not least due to great collaboration internally in Maersk and with our external partners,” he said.

To communicate that the vessel is the start of a new generation of green methanol vessels, Maersk has designed new branding with a star featuring on the side of the vessel for the first time.

“In order to communicate that the vessel is the start of a new generation of green methanol vessels, we looked at how to best communicate this. We ended up with the tagline ‘ALL THE WAY TO ZERO’ to build on our existing brand platform and to highlight our decarbonisation efforts,” said Brian Borup, Senior Brand, and Design Manager.

Maersk disclosed earlier that the feeder will be 172 meters long and will sail in the network of Sealand Europe, a Maersk subsidiary, on the Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia.

The feeder will be followed by 18 large ocean-going vessels of 16,000-17,200 TEU capacity which are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025.Maersk has partnered with REintegrate, a subsidiary of the Danish renewable energy company European Energy, to produce green fuel for its first methanol-powered containership.

The renewable energy company is currently building the facility which aims to produce approximately 10,000 tonnes of e-methanol that Maersk’s carbon-neutral vessel will consume annually. 

In order to ensure the supply of green methanol for its newbuilds, Maersk has entered into strategic partnerships with nine companies in 2022 with the intent of sourcing at least 750,000 tonnes of green fuel per year by the end of 2025. In addition, the company has engaged in dialogues to explore opportunities for large-scale green fuel production in Spain and Egypt.

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