Tue 13 Jun 2023 11:10

Maersk procures fuel for world's first methanol-enabled boxship

Deal signed with OCI Global for 21,500 km maiden voyage.

Graphic summarizing Maersk's deal with OCI Global to secure methanol for the maiden voyage of the world's first methanol-enabled container vessel.

Maersk has signed a deal with Dutch producer OCI Global to secure methanol for the maiden voyage of the world's first methanol-enabled container vessel.

The 21,500 km trip from Ulsan, South Korea to Copenhagen, Denmark will provide real operational experience for Maersk seafarers handling the new engines and using methanol as fuel, as the company prepares to receive a fleet of new, large ocean-going methanol-enabled ships.

OCI produces its methanol at a US-based facility by using captured biogas from decomposing organic waste in landfills.

The biogas is upgraded to biomethane and injected into the gas grid. The methanol is then produced from the biomethane in the grid on a mass-balance basis — thus using existing infrastructure and facilitating rapid production.

Maersk notes that this production method can contribute to a greener gas grid while capturing harmful methane emissions that would arise from waste feedstock if left untouched.

Additionally, OCI's methanol is certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive.

Maersk has set itself the target of transporting a minimum of 25% of its Ocean division cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline.

Back in August 2021, it ordered the first in a series of eight large container vessels capable of operating on methanol — a key step towards the long-term objective of gradually renewing the entire fleet to operate solely on green fuels. The ship is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2024.

Morten Bo Christiansen, Maersk's Head of Energy Transition, commented: "The green methanol market is still in its infancy and frankly we had not expected to be able to secure a maiden voyage on green methanol for this vessel. So, we are very proud to have achieved this significant milestone. We expect a diverse green fuel mix for the future, with green bio-methanol from biomass waste being available now."

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