Maersk will operate the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel by 2023 – seven years ahead of schedule

Ambition is to lead the way in decarbonising global logistics

Fast-tracked by advances in technology and increasing customer demand for sustainable supply chains, A.P. Moller – Maersk is accelerating efforts to decarbonise marine operations with the launch of the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel in 2023 – seven years ahead of the initial 2030-ambition. All future Maersk owned new buildings will have dual fuel technology installed, enabling either carbon neutral operations or operation on standard very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).

Maersk’s ambition is to lead the way in decarbonising global logistics. Its customers expect the Company to help them decarbonise their global supply chains, and it is embracing the challenge, working on solving the practical, technical and safety challenges inherent in the carbon neutral fuels needed in the future. The Company’s ambition to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when it was announced in 2018. Today, Maersk see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach.

Maersk’s commitments on decarbonisation:

> 2023 – World’s first carbon neutral liner in operation
> 2030 – 60% relative CO2 reduction from shipping
> 2050 – Net zero CO2emissions

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.

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Maersk’s methanol feeder vessel will have a capacity of around 2,000 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.

It will be a significant challenge to source an adequate supply of carbon neutral methanol within the timeline to pioneer this technology. Success relies on customers embracing this groundbreaking product and strengthened collaboration with fuel manufacturers, technology partners and developers to ramp up production fast enough.

Both the methanol-fuelled 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 carbon neutral future for shipping requires innovation, test and collaboration across multiple industry partners. Maersk continues to explore several carbon neutral fuel pathways and expects multiple fuel solutions to exist alongside each other in the future. Methanol (e-methanol and bio-methanol), alcohol-lignin blends and ammonia remain the primary fuel candidates for the future.

A key collaboration partner is the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, non-profit research and development centre, that works across sectors, organisations, research areas and regulators to accelerate the development and implementation of new energy systems and technologies.

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