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Maersk  invests $ 1.4 billion in decarbonized fleet

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ENVIRONENT: Maersk  invests $ 1.4 billion in decarbonized fleet


Posted 25/08/2021

The AP Moller-Maersk,  shipping company that aims to have zero pollutant emissions by 2050, will invest $1.4 billion in the purchase of the first 8 mega container ships capable of being operated with carbon-neutral methanol, a project that marks the beginning of the decarbonization of their fleet.

The aim is to add the 8 ships using methanol to the Maersk fleet of more than 700 ships in the first quarter of 2024.

“The simplest thing would have been to run on liquefied gas, but Maersk was very clear that it did not want to use any fossil fuel. We really want to eliminate pollution to the environment, "said Antonio Domínguez, CEO of Maersk Caribe.

He added that for several years the company was doing tests with ships that use batteries to see if it was capable of propelling the ship 100%, as well as tests with ammonia and alcohol.

The ships are between 10% and 15% more expensive than normal boats because it is a new technology.

It is unknown, for now, what the cost of fuel will be compared to others because it is a matter of supply and demand, Domínguez said.

He explained that there are two types of methanol and the factory that Maersk runs in Denmark is 100% production with zero emissions to the environment for small ships.

In the case of smaller ships, the first Maersk vessel that will use fuel from this plant is a feeder that will begin operations in 2023 and has a capacity of 2,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent unit).

For large ships, biomethanol from alcohol or some natural compound could be used. At the moment it is unknown which company will be dedicated to producing it to supply the 8 ships that will be launched in 2024.

The ships will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and have a nominal capacity of approximately 16,000 TEUs, that is, they are of a greater capacity than those that can transit through the new locks of the Panama Canal, which can carry up to 15 thousand TEUs. The agreement with HHI includes an option for 4 additional vessels in 2025.

The series will replace older ships, generating an annual CO2 savings of around one million tonnes.

According to the company, more than half of Maersk's 200 largest customers have set ambitious zero-carbon targets for their supply chains. These include Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, HP Inc., Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, Procter and Gamble, Puma, Schneider Electric, Signify, Syngenta, and Unilever.

"The time to act is now if we are to solve the climate challenge of shipping," said Soren Skou, CEO of AP Moller-Maersk



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