New ships to generate 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions savings per year

Integrated container logistics company A.P. Moller – Maersk announced today an order for 8 large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon-neutral methanol, to be built by shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The first of the ships will be launched in the first quarter of 2024, and the agreement comes with an option for 4 additional ships in 2025.

The new ships will have a nominal capacity of approximately 16,000 containers (Twenty-Foot Equivalent – TEU), with the order forming part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal program and will replace tonnage of more than 150,000 TEU which is reaching end-of-life and leaving the fleet between through Q1 2024.

By replacing older vessels, the new ships, equipped with dual-fuel engine setup enabling operation on methanol as well as conventional low sulfur fuel, are expected to generate annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tonnes. Additional CAPEX for the dual-fuel capability is in the range of 10-15% of the total price.

Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk, said:

“The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge. This order proves that carbon neutral solutions are available today across container vessel segments and that Maersk stands committed to the growing number of our customers who look to decarbonise their supply chains. Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed.”

As companies globally increasingly aim to reduce the climate impact of their supply chains, the sustainability profile of ocean shipping is coming under growing scrutiny. According to the European Maritime Safety Agency, shipping accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to air pollution close to coastal areas and ports. The order follows Maersk’s recent announcement of a deal with shipbuilding company Hyundai Mipo Dockyards for construction of the 172-meter, 2100 TEU vessel.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO, Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk, said:

“We are very excited about this addition to our fleet, which will offer our customers unique access to carbon neutral transport on the high seas while balancing their needs for competitive slot costs and flexible operations. To us, this is the ideal large vessel type to enable sustainable, global trade on the high seas in the coming decades and from our dialogue with potential suppliers, we are confident we will manage to source the carbon neutral methanol needed.” 

According to Maersk, more than half of the company’s 200 largest customers have set, or are in the process of setting, science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains.

Michelle Grose, Head of Logistics and Fulfilment at Unilever, said:

“Unilever is committed to accelerating the transition to clean transport solutions, not just in our own operations but along global value chains as we work to achieve net zero emissions by 2039. With logistics and distribution accounting for around 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions footprint, it’s important that we work with partners shifting to lower carbon fuels. We are proud to partner with Maersk as they pioneer carbon neutral transportation on the high seas.”