Maersk partners with SIPG on green methanol bunkering

Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) on strategic cooperation for Shanghai Port methanol marine fuel project. 


As disclosed, the partners will join hands to explore green methanol fuel vessel-to-vessel bunkering operation after Maersk’s green methanol container vessels being delivered in 2024.

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.

Meanwhile, the Danish major booked six more methanol-powered feeders at HHI last October. The ships are planned for delivery in 2025.

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Maersk has set a net-zero emissions target for 2040 across the entire business, and the delivery and operation of its 19 vessels with dual-fuel engines able to operate on green methanol will accelerate the evolution of climate neutral shipping.

Therefore, establishing port bunkering infrastructure for methanol is imperative and critical to achieve this goal.

“Collaborating with ports globally to build green fuel bunkering infrastructures is necessary to service methanol vessels. It is an important step as Maersk strives to lead the decarbonization of end-to-end supply chains and make a meaningful environmental impact in this decade,” Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk stated.

“Through joint efforts, we can provide low-carbon logistics service for our customers, also contributing to China’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060.”

According to the partners, the agreement will also support the aspiration of Shanghai Port to become one of the world’s first commercial green methanol refuelling points, and as a regional green methanol fuel bunkering centre.

“We are happy to collaborate with Maersk in support of its mission to decarbonise the shipping industry. As the demand for sustainable fuels increase, establishing the green fuel bunkering service will be another milestone for SIPG, improving port services and enhancing the competitiveness of Shanghai port, in a bid to transform the company into a low-carbon and eco-friendly energy hub in Asia Pacific,” Gu Jinshan, Chairman, Shanghai International Port Group, added.

Specifically, Maersk and SIPG will deepen cooperation in stages.

In the first phase, SIPG, as Maersk’s potential energy bunkering service provider, will carry out services of vessel-to-vessel bunkering and fuel tank storage at port.

In the potential second stage, the parties will explore how to form an all-round energy strategic partnership to promote the extension from bunkering services to the upstream of the green methanol industry chain.

Earlier on, Maersk contracted several suppliers with the aim to overcome the uncertainties related to the availability of alternative fuels.

The firm partnered up with REintegrate to produce green fuel for its first methanol-powered containership and invested in US startup WasteFuel to secure green methanol production.

In March 2021, the company also joined the Methanol Institute which serves as the global trade association for the methanol industry, representing the world’s leading producers, distributors, and technology companies.

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