Fri 15 Sep 2023 12:21

World's first methanol-fuelled boxship completes maiden trip


Fuel secured for initial months of operation, with bunkering to take place in Rotterdam.



The world's first methanol-fuelled container ship, Laura Maersk.


The world's first methanol-fuelled container ship has completed its maiden journey from Ulsan to Copenhagen.

The vessel arrived at Skagen anchorage on August 31; then made the short trip to Copenhagen anchorage from September 10-11, and was christened Laura Maersk during a naming ceremony in Copenhagen three days later.

Ordered in August 2021 and built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the Laura Maersk has a 2,100-TEU container capacity and dual-fuel capability, thus enabling operation on methanol as well as conventional low-sulphur fuel.

The methanol propulsion configuration was developed in collaboration with manufacturers MAN ES, Hyundai Himsen and Alfa Laval.

When the initial methanol-enabled vessel orders were announced in 2021, Maersk stated that it aimed to operate the ships on carbon-neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible, whilst also acknowledging the challenges involved in sourcing the required methanol production.

And as part of that process, Maersk announced earlier this week that it had signed an agreement with Equinor to secure the supply of green methanol for its landmark feeder vessel during the initial months of operation in northern Europe, between September 2023 and the first half of 2024. The methanol bunkering of the Laura Maersk is to take place in Rotterdam during this period.

Equinor — which runs a production plant in Tjeldbergodden, Norway — is an established player in Europe's methanol market; and Alex Grant, Senior Vice President for the liquid commodity segment at Equinor, stated this week that the company has "ambitions to be a key provider of green methanol in the marine fuel segment."

The methanol used for the Laura Maersk's 21,500 km trip from the Republic of Korea to Denmark was sourced from Dutch producer OCI Global, with physical marine fuel supplier Hong Lam delivering methanol to the ship in Singapore towards the end of July, and VPS carrying out the bunker quantity survey.

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, and methanol is then produced from biomethane in the grid.

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; and the shipper has a 2040 target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.


Risk chart outlining likelihood of bad bunkers Mitigating the risks of bad bunkers  

Article by Steve Bee, VPS Group Commercial Director; Dr Malcolm Cooper, VPS CEO; and Stanley George, VPS Group Science & Technical Manager.

Air Liquide and Vopak sign ammonia MoU. Air Liquide and Vopak to collaborate on ammonia project in Singapore  

MoU to develop infrastructure for ammonia import, cracking and hydrogen distribution in Asian city-state.

Wärtsilä NH3 Ammonia label. Wärtsilä launches Ammonia Fuel Supply System  

System available for liquid and gaseous fuel, gas and non-gas carriers, and newbuilds and retrofits.

Panagiotis Bastas, head of Greece office, Aurora Marine Fuels (AMF) New Greece manager at Aurora Marine Fuels  

Panagiotis Bastas named head of the company's Athens office.

Adrian Beciri, CEO of Ducat Maritime From greenwashing to 'wacky' bunker margins  

Interview with Adrian Beciri, CEO of Ducat Maritime.

Algebra illustration. ISO 8217 formula 'not suitable' for gauging FAME fuel energy content: VPS  

Accurate measurement can only be determined using calorimetry, says testing firm.

Water drop on body of water, creating a ripple effect. Will the EU ETS move prices and inspire innovation?  

Examining whether carbon pricing is likely to have an effect on emissions reduction.

Origami ship made from Euro money. Who will bear the cost of EU emission allowances?  

Analysing the purchase of allowances to offset emissions.

Flag of the European Union in front of the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. How the EU ETS impacts non-EU nations and shippers  

Examaning the ETS and key issues for non-EU players ahead of implementation.

Worm's eye view of four stone structures during daytime. Four cornerstones for a regulatory environment for sustainable fuels  

An analysis of the World Shipping Council's paper to IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).


↑  Back to Top