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Shipping giant Maersk has purchased eight container ships are able to run on carbon-neutral methanol as well as bunker fuel, a significant step towards potentially decarbonising the shipping industry.

Bought from Hyundai Heavy Industries with a 2024 delivery date, and with the option for four more vessels in 2025, it’s the company’s first purchase of new vessels in six years.

Each new vessel, which can carry 16,000 containers, cost around $175 million, bringing the total to roughly $1.4 billion.

Maersk container ship
Credit: Andrey Sharpilo

They are more expensive than traditional vessels that run on only bunker fuel, but Maersk decided that the time is right in terms of the technology available, despite initially anticipating carbon neutral ships by 2030.

All future purchases will now be either dual-fuel or green fuel, according to Maersk. The new ships will gradually replace older ones, rather than adding capacity. Single green fuels are the ideal, but Maersk opted for dual fuel as risk mitigation.

Maersk said its green methanol comes from natural or renewable energy sources.

Source: Financial Times

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