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Two anchor-handling tugs belonging to Maersk Supply Service will return to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch having extended their contract with The Ocean Cleanup for an additional year.
The Dutch green tech company is developing and scaling plastic-harvesting technologies to rid the oceans of floating plastic, starting with the world’s largest accumulation of ocean plastic—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Maersk Supply Service has been working with The Ocean Cleanup since 2018 helping to deploy the companies systems, beginning with the AHTS Maersk Launcher towing The Ocean Cleanup’s System 001 from San Francisco later in 2018. Although that first deployment revealed some issues, engineers worked to refine the system, leading to The Ocean Cleanup extending its contract with Maersk Supply Service and second trial.
In May 2021, Maersk Supply Service committed a second vessel and crew to the operations for System 002, towed Maersk Tender and Maersk Trader. By October, the teams reached a major milestone with a successful trial that ascertained that the company’s System 002 works to remove plastic from the oceans.
System 002 continues to harvest plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in tandem with the onshore development of System 03, a larger version designed to act as the blueprint for future scale-up. To date, The Ocean Cleanup has collected approximately 67,000 kgs of plastic waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
“Ocean health is integral to Maersk Supply Service’s core values and strategy. The oceans hold the key to many of the energy challenges ahead of us and so we believe we have a responsibility to protect and restore ocean health. It is important that we proactively use our marine capabilities to improve ocean health through partnerships and policies, and so we are very pleased to be able to continue our collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup,” says Jonas Munch Agerskov, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Supply Service.
In addition to the vessels and marine support, A. P. Møller-Maersk, partent of Maersk Supply Service, also provides logistics support to The Ocean Cleanup, providing global end-to-end transport of the project equipment, including collected ocean plastic and the company’s river cleanup technologies.
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