World’s Largest Container Shipping Company Plays $ 1.4 Billion Green Bet on Methanol Ships

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Maersk container shipping company ad this Tuesday that will invest $ 1.4 billion in a greener fleet.

The Danish company has commissioned eight new vessels, each costing $ 175 million, which can be powered by clean-made methanol instead of a petroleum-based fuel.

Maersk expects to receive the ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyards in early 2024 and has an option for four more the following year, making it the first container shipping company to order large carbon-neutral ships capable of sailing from China to Europe and across the Pacific.

“This is a strong signal to fuel producers that the market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at high speed,” said Maersk CEO Soren Skou. More than half of the company’s 200 largest customers have set zero carbon or scientific targets for their supply chains or are in the process of doing so, the statement said.

In February, the company indicated that all newly built vessels it owns could use carbon-neutral fuels. It also announced that in 2023 it will have a small container ship that could run on clean versions of methanol and can carry about 16,000 containers.

Ecological transition in the sector

Maritime transport accounts for almost the 3% of carbon dioxide emissions of human origin, which continue to increase, according to data from the International Maritime Organization. Last year the regulations of this organization came into force aimed at curbing atmospheric pollution by limiting the sulfur content of marine fuel, which has had a clear influence on the sector.

Other shipping companies have also started to transition to a greener variant. Tanker owner Euronav NV has commissioned new vessels capable of running on ammonia and liquefied natural gas. Also, commodities trader Cargill Inc. has said it plans to add so-called ‘wing sails’ to part of its fleet, informs Bloomberg.

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