Maersk explores first methanol dual-fuel retrofit for containerships

Maersk set to be first containership to use a methanol dual-fuel engine

A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) has planned to convert an existing ship into a dual-fuel methanol-powered vessel, allowing it to sail on green methanol.

The first engine retrofit in the industry is scheduled to be conducted in 2024 and is intended to replicate on sister vessels when going for special survey in 2027.

This comes one week after OCI Global announced it is fuelling the first ever green methanol-powered containership in partnership with Maersk.

Leonardo Sonzio, Head of Fleet Management and Technology at Maersk, said: “We have set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2040 across the entire business and have taken a leading role in decarbonising logistics.

“With this initiative, we wish to pave the way for future scalable retrofit programmes in the industry and thereby accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green fuels.

“Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that methanol retrofits can be a viable alternative to new buildings,” explained Sonzio.

READ: Maersk obtains e-trucks for green transports in Germany

Maersk has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) who will retrofit the engine.

Besides aiming to achieve net-zero in 2040, Maersk has also set near-term targets for 2030 to ensure alignment with the Paris Agreement and Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) methodology.

This translates to a 50 per cent reduction in emissions per transported container in the Maersk Ocean fleet compared to 2020.

Furthermore, 25 per cent of its container volume is expected to be transported using green fuels by 2030.

READ: Maersk expands freight flights frequency

Retrofitting a vessel to operate on methanol involves more than just replacing engine parts, according to Maersk. For instance, the project will reportedly require the installation of new fuel tanks, a fuel preparation room, and a fuel delivery system.

Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology and responsible for the retrofit project at Maersk, said: “Detailed engineering for the first retrofit is ongoing and the actual implementation will take place in the middle of 2024. Meanwhile, discussions with potential yards are ongoing.”

This month, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, agreed to name Maersk’s new feeder vessel.

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