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The methanol-fueled container vessel Laura Maersk arrives for an official naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 13, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Little

The methanol-fueled container vessel Laura Maersk arrives for an official naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 13, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Little

Maersk Signs Largest Green Methanol Offtake Agreement for Low Carbon Shipping

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1961
November 22, 2023

Danish shipping giant Maersk has signed its largest green methanol offtake agreement to date. The agreement, made with Chinese developer Goldwind, will fuel the first 12 large methanol-enabled Maersk vessels on order.

Maersk said groundbreaking deal marks the first large-scale green methanol offtake agreement for the global shipping industry. Under the agreement, Goldwind will supply Maersk with 500,000 tonnes of green methanol annually, with the first volumes expected in 2026.

“This deal is a milestone for Maersk as it enables us to significantly reduce our emissions footprint in this decade and stay aligned with the 1.5-degree Celsius trajectory as set out in the Paris Agreement, ensuring continued supply of low carbon shipping services to our customers in the second half of this decade,” said Rabab Raafat Boulos, Chief Infrastructure Officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Maersk has set ambitious targets to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 across its business. To meet these goals, the company took delivery of its first green methanol-fueled ship this past summer—a 2,100 TEU capacity feeder vessel named Laura Maersk. It also has on order 24 additional green methanol-powered ships, comprised of twelve 16,000 TEU and six 17,000 TEU ships being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, with deliveries in 2024 and 2025, and six additional 9,000 TEU ships from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China. The six deliveries are planned in 2026 and 2027.

Maersk said the agreement with Goldwind will play a crucial role in de-risking the initial stages of Maersk’s net-zero transition and supports the development of a competitive green methanol market by 2030. The annual volumes involved in this agreement can power more than half of Maersk’s methanol-enabled capacity currently on order.

Wu Gang, Chairman at Goldwind, expressed his support for Maersk’s pioneering efforts in maritime green fuel and the joint promotion of the green transition.

“With this project, Goldwind will continue to explore the innovative application of new technologies, pursue the organic combination of green electricity and green fuel production, and optimize the production process of green methanol. Goldwind is committed to collaborating with companies involved in the green methanol industry, with the aim to make green methanol one of the most important and economically feasible clean maritime fuels in the future,” Gang said.

The volumes supplied under the agreement will consist of a mix of green bio-methanol and e-methanol, all produced using wind energy at a new production facility in Hinggan League, Northeast China. The facility, located around 1000km northeast of Beijing, is expected to begin production in 2026. Goldwind anticipates making a final investment decision for the facility by the end of the year.

Rabab Raafat Boulos emphasized the importance of the agreement. “We are encouraged by the agreement because its scale and price confirm our view that green methanol currently is the most viable low-emission solution for ocean shipping that can make a significant impact in this decade,” he said. “However, we still have a long way to go in ensuring a global green fuels market that can enable the decarbonization of global shipping.

Maersk is set to take delivery of its first large ocean-going methanol-enabled ship (16,000 TEU) in the first quarter of 2024. The company is actively working with global partners to source solutions for the entire vessel series to be delivered in 2024-25.

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