Photo: Illustration/Source: Maersk

Maersk inks green bio-methanol partnership with Debo

A.P. Moller – Maersk has entered into a methanol partnership with Chinese bioenergy enterprise Debo.

The parties have signed a Letter of Intent covering Debo’s plans to develop a bio-methanol project for Maersk in China with capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year to start commercial operation by fall 2024.

The feedstock for the green bio-methanol will be agricultural residues, and Maersk said it would offtake the full volume produced.

Danish container shipping major plans to use methanol to power a fleet of newbuilding vessels on order.

 To remind, in 2021 Maersk ordered twelve 16,000 TEU boxships from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and one feeder from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD). The dual-fuel vessels will be capable of burning methanol as well as conventional low sulphur fuel.

The feeder is expected to join Maersk’s fleet in 2023 while the first newbuild from the 16,000 TEU batch is slated for delivery in 2024.

“Maersk has set an ambitious end-to-end net-zero goal for 2040 and the availability of green methanol at scale is critical to our fleet’s transition to sustainable energy. Partnerships across ecosystems and geographies are essential for the scale-up needed in order to make meaningful progress on this agenda already in this decade,” said Berit Hinnemann, Head of Green Fuels Sourcing, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

The cooperation is the seventh strategic green methanol partnership the company signed with companies across the globe earlier this year in its quest to boost global production capacity.

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“The use of green methanol as marine fuel to replace the existing fossil fuel is groundbreaking in the container shipping history and will strongly promote the development of green shipping. It is a great honor for Debo to work with A.P. Moller – Maersk to promote the commercialization of the green methanol industrial chain. I firmly believe that through the cooperation, we are able to realize the commercial production and industrial conversion of green methanol and contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Zhang Shoujun, Chairman and General Manager, Debo.

Maersk has been one of the major proponents of ending the use of fossil fuels in the shipping industry as one of the key steps in decarbonizing the sector. The container-carrying heavyweight doesn’t believe in transitional solutions such as LNG as a way to go, and it is advocating for a switch to alternative zero-emission fuels, especially for newbuilding vessels.

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Maersk delivered record results in Q2 2022, as revenue increased by 52pct. and earnings more than doubled compared to the same quarter last year. Results were driven by continued exceptional market conditions and sustained momentum from the strategic transformation focused on integrated logistics.