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Maersk secures green methanol fuel for new vessels

Photo: Maersk Maersk large green methanol box ship
Danish container ship operator Maersk has secured enough green methanol, 500,000 tonnes annually, from Beijing-based green energy provider Goldwind Science & Technology Co to power half its 24-ship methanol powered orderbook.

According to the latest reports Maersk has six 9,000 teu methanol dual fuel vessels on order at Yangzijiang Shipbuilding in China to be delivered in 2026-27.

In addition, Maersk has 18 green methanol-powered ships on order from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, with eight 16,000 teu ships ordered in August 2021 and four sister ships options exercised later, followed by an order for six 17,000 teu vessels in November 2022. The ships are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025.

A 2,100 teu methanol powered feeder ship ordered in 2021 is already in operation.

Maersk said: “The record-high volumes can annually propel more than half the methanol-enabled capacity Maersk currently has on order.”

The company added that it aims to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2040 and that this latest deal “significantly de-risks the initial stages of Maersk’s net-zero journey and supports expectations for a competitive green methanol market towards 2030”.

Rabab Raafat Boulos, chief infrastructure officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk, added: “This deal is a milestone for Maersk as it enables us to significantly reduce our emissions footprint in this decade,” he added that the deal would ensure the, “continued supply of low carbon shipping services to our customers in the second half of this decade.”

Production of the green methanol will see a mix of green bio-methanol and e-methanol, that will all be produced using wind energy at a new production facility in Hinggan League, Northeast China, around 1000 km northeast of Beijing.

Production is expected to begin in 2026, with Goldwind expected to confirm its final investment decision for the facility by the end of this year.

Goldwind, a state-owned enterprise until it was privatised in 2007, still has state-controlled corporations as its largest shareholders, Hexie Health Insurance, China Three Gorges Renewables Group, and the National Social Security Fund, holding almost 40% shares. In 2022 the company recorded revenues of RMB46.44 billion.

The company was ranked third for onshore and offshore turbine manufacturing by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in 2016, but the company is also involved in the production of green energy through solar power and hydroelectricity with a division for energy storage too.

Goldwind chairman Wu Gang said the company, “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.”