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Green fuel for shipping vessels on the horizon

Container logistics company Maersk has identified its partners to produce green fuel for its first vessel to operate on carbon-neutral methanol.

REIntegrate, a subsidiary of Danish renewable energy company European Energy, will establish a new facility in Denmark to produce approximately 10,000 tonnes of carbon-neutral e-methanol annually. The green fuel will be used by Maersk’s first vessel able to operate on the e-methanol.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, AP Moler – Maersk CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, said this type of partnership could become a blueprint for how to scale green fuel production through collaboration with partners across an industry ecosystem. “sourcing the fuels of the future is a significant challenge and we need to be able to scale production in time. This agreement with European energy/REInterate brings us o track to deliver on our ambition to have the world’s first container vessel operated on carbon-neutral methanol on the water by 2023,” she said.

The methanol facility will use renewable energy and biogenic CO2 to produce the e-methanol. The energy needs to power the methanol facility will be provided by a solar farm in Kassø, Southern Denmark.

REIntegarte has already started producing green e-methanol in a test laboratory in Aalborg (Denmark’s fourth-largest city). They are constructing an e-methanol facility in the town of Skive which should start producing in 2022 and the third facility will probably be situated somewhere in Southern Jutland.

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Knud Erik Andersen, European Energy CEO, said they are proud to be part of the first large scale e-methanol production in Denmark. “While renewable energy is becoming more and more common in the energy mix of electricity consumption this is one of the first steps in heavy transportation towards using 100% renewable energy. This agreement marks a milestone in the journey towards green transition in the shipping industry,” said Andersen.

Maersk announced their dual-fuel vessel, an industry first, in February 2021. All future Maersk owned new builds will have a dual fuel technology installed, enabling either carbon-neutral operations or operations on standard very low sulphur fuel oil. In June they announced that Huyndai Miplo Docyards will build the 2100 Twenty Foot Equivalent feeder.

The world’s first methanol feeder will be 172 metres long and is expected to join the Maersk fleet in the middle of 2023. It will sail in the network of Sealand Europe, a Maersk subsidiary, on the Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia. It will fly the Danish flag.

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a conference producer for Clarion Events Africa.

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