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A.P. Moller - Maersk to operate world’s first carbon-neutral liner vessel by 2023

Fast-tracked by advances in technology and increasing customer demand for sustainable supply chains, A.P. Moller - Maersk accelerates the efforts to decarbonize marine operations with the launch of the world’s first carbon-neutral liner vessel in 2023 - 7 years ahead of its 2030 goal.
"Our ambition to have a carbon-neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced in it 2018. Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach,” said Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller - Maersk.

According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), over 90 percent of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world. Shipping is responsible for 2-3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so the industry has significant potential to help create a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. Maersk is determined to play its part by leading the development and scaling of future solutions.

According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), over 90 percent of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world. Shipping is responsible for 2-3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so the industry has significant potential to help create a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. Maersk is determined to play its part by leading the development and scaling of future solutions.

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.

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).

A.P. Moller – Maersk’s ambition is to lead the way in decarbonizing global logistics. Our customers expect us to help them decarbonize their global supply chains, and we are embracing the challenge, working on solving the practical, technical, and safety challenges inherent in the carbon-neutral fuels we need in the future. Our ambition to have a carbon-neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced it in 2018. Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach, said Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

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 our timeline to pioneer this technology. Our success relies on customers embracing this groundbreaking product and strengthened collaboration with fuel manufacturers, technology partners and developers to ramp up production fast enough. We believe our aspiration to put the world’s first carbon-neutral liner vessel in operation by 2023 is the best way to kick start the rapid scaling of carbon-neutral fuels we will need, said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Both the methanol-fueled feeder vessel and the decision to install dual-fuel engines on future new builds are part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet replacement. CAPEX implications will be manageable and are included in current guidance.

Strengthened collaboration to solve the challenges

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 will exist alongside each other in the future.

Methanol (e-methanol and bio-methanol), alcohol-lignin blends (aka LEO), and ammonia remain the primary fuel candidates for the future.

A key collaboration partner is the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, non-profit research and development center, that works across sectors, organizations, research areas, and regulators to accelerate the development and implementation of new energy systems and technologies.

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