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The world's first large methanol powered containership is launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries. Photo courtesy Maersk

The world's first large methanol-powered containership is launched at Hyundai Heavy Industries. Photo courtesy Maersk

Maersk to Deploy First Large Methanol-Fueled Containership on Asia-Europe Route

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3787
December 7, 2023

A.P. Moller – Maersk is set to launch its first large green methanol-fueled containership early next year.

Scheduled for launch on February 9, 2024, the vessel will operate on the AE7 string, connecting Asia and Europe, the company revealed today. The route includes major ports such as Shanghai, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo, and Hamburg, with Ningbo, China, being its initial destination.

The inaugural vessel is currently under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. The containership has a nominal capacity of 16,000 containers (TEU) and is equipped with a dual-fuel engine capable of running on methanol, biodiesel, and conventional bunker fuel.

Maersk's first large methanol-fueled containership pictured under construction at Hyunday Heavy Industries in South Korea. Photo courtesy Maersk
Maersk’s first large methanol-fueled containership pictured under construction at Hyunday Heavy Industries in South Korea. Photo courtesy Maersk

Maersk says it has secured enough green methanol for the ship’s maiden voyage and it is actively working on sourcing solutions for its methanol-enabled vessel fleet for 2024-25.

Maersk has committed to achieving Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 across its entire business and has also set ambitious near-term targets for 2030. Since 2021, Maersk has exclusively ordered new vessels capable of operating green fuels. Upon deployment, the vessel will be only the second containership globally capable of sailing on green methanol, following the feeder vessel Laura Maersk, which entered service in September.

The latest vessel will be officially named at the shipyard in late January 2024 before deployment.

Two sister vessels are set to join the fleet in the first half of 2024, with naming ceremonies scheduled in Yokohama, Japan, and Los Angeles, USA. Maersk anticipates the delivery of four additional sister vessels in the second half of 2024.

Maersk’s orderbook comprises a total of 24 vessels, including 12 with a capacity of 16,000 TEU, 6 with a capacity of 17,000 TEU, and 6 with a capacity of 9,000 TEU. All of the vessels will be equipped with dual-fuel engines and will be able to operate on green methanol.

The AE7 string, which traverses the Suez Canal, serves as a vital link between Asia and Europe. The string includes port calls at Ningbo, Shanghai, Nansha, Yantian (all in China), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Port Tangiers (Morocco), Felixstowe (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), London Gateway (UK), Le Havre (France), Port Tangiers, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Abu Dhabi (UAE), and Jebel Ali (UAE).

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