Leading container logistics company, AP Moller-Maersk, has announced its partnership with OCI Global to secure fuel for the inaugural voyage of the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel. The groundbreaking 21,500 km journey from Ulsan, South Korea, to Copenhagen, Denmark, will rely on sustainable bio-methanol supplied by OCI Global. This milestone achievement highlights Maersk’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and marks a significant stride forward for the industry as a whole.
Methanol as a Green Fuel
Methanol has emerged as a potential alternative to traditional petroleum-based fuels, with the aim of reducing environmental impact. While the majority of methanol is still produced from fossil fuels, renewable sources such as biomass, solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy can be utilized to produce bio-methanol. Maersk’s decision to use bio-methanol sourced from OCI Global showcases their dedication to sustainable practices.
OCI Global’s Green Methanol Production
OCI Global produces its green methanol at a facility in the United States, using biogas captured from organic landfill waste. The International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) has certified OCI’s green methanol in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive. This collaboration with OCI Global allows Maersk to access a diversified range of green fuels, with bio-methanol derived from biomass waste being readily available.
The Methanol-Powered Vessel
The 172-meter-long container vessel, flying the Danish flag, will be officially named by Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, during a ceremony in Copenhagen on September 14. This historic vessel is the world’s first container ship to operate on green methanol. As part of Maersk’s fleet renewal program, the ship will serve as a vital training platform for seafarers to gain hands-on experience with the new engines and green methanol fuel. Maersk aims to receive a fleet of large ocean-going methanol-powered ships by 2024.
Maersk’s Sustainable Shipping Goals
Maersk’s ambitious target is to transport a minimum of 25 percent of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline. In alignment with this objective, the company has ordered 19 methanol-enabled ships, which will replace older vessels and result in an annual reduction of approximately 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions when fully deployed. Securing a reliable supply of sustainable fuels remains a key challenge for Maersk, and they have established strategic partnerships with various suppliers and ports to meet their net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2040. These partnerships include Carbon Sink, CIMC ENRIC, Debo, European Energy, Green Technology Bank, Orsted, Proman, Wastefuel, and SunGas Renewables.