A.P. Moller-Maersk plans to unveil its inaugural major container ship powered by green methanol soon. On February 9th, 2024, this ship will set sail along the AE7 route between Asia and Europe, visiting ports such as Shanghai, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo, and Hamburg, with Ningbo, China, which will serve as its starting point.

Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea is currently building the world’s first ship of this type, featuring a capacity for 16,000 containers and equipped with a dual-fuel engine capable of running on either methanol, biodiesel, or traditional bunker fuel.
Maersk Line’s first large container ship powered by methanol fuel was seen being built at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

What’s the next step for green fuel?

Maersk has confirmed they have secured sufficient green methanol for the inaugural voyage of their ship and is actively searching for solutions to source it for their fleet in 2024-2025. Their goal is carbon neutrality by 2040, with ambitious short-term goals set by 2030.

Since 2021, Maersk has ordered new ships capable of running on eco-friendly fuels such as green methanol. When these vessels enter service, they will become among the first container ships worldwide to employ green methanol as their primary fuel, following in the footsteps of Laura Maersk, who began service earlier this month. In January 2024, before it embarks, a ceremony at the shipyard will formally name the new vessel and mark its departure.

Maersk anticipates adding two new ships to its fleet in the first six months of 2024 and hosting their naming ceremonies in Yokohama and Los Angeles, Japan and the USA respectively. Maersk anticipates four more similar vessels will be delivered during the later parts of 2024.

Maersk currently has orders for 24 ships, 12 with capacities of 16,000 TEU each, 6 with 17,000 TEU capacity and another set of six that have capacities of 9,000 TEU each.
All ships will feature dual-fuel engines capable of running on green methanol. On its AE7 route – essential to linking Asia with Europe – stops include Ningbo, Shanghai and Nansha in China; Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia; Colombo in Sri Lanka and Port Tangiers in Morocco, among many others.

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