A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) and Equinor have joined forces to secure a supply of green methanol for Maersk’s groundbreaking methanol-enabled container vessel, slated to commence operations in September 2023 and continue into the first half of 2024.
This partnership guarantees a consistent supply of green methanol for the vessel, which will operate on a route from Northern Europe into the Baltic Sea after its naming ceremony in Copenhagen later this month. The green methanol will be bunkered in Rotterdam.
Alex Grant, Senior Vice President for the liquid commodity segment at Equinor, expressed enthusiasm for this collaboration, stating, “Equinor is pleased to be partnering up with Maersk in delivering greener fuels to the marine industry. Equinor is an established player in the European methanol market through its production plant at Tjeldbergodden and we have ambitions to be a key provider of green methanol in the marine fuel segment.”
This green methanol is produced from biogas derived from manure, which is then upgraded to biomethane and injected into the existing gas grid. The methanol is subsequently produced from the biomethane on a mass-balance basis. This method utilizes the existing European biogas certificate system to trace the biomethane’s attributes to the biomethanol, ensuring transparency and preventing double-claims. Notably, this approach contributes to a more environmentally friendly gas grid while mitigating harmful methane emissions associated with untreated manure feedstock. The biomethanol is ISCC EU certified, aligning with the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
Rabab Boulos, Chief Infrastructure Officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk, emphasized the importance of engaging energy majors in the quest for green fuels, stating, “This is the form of engagement we need to continue accelerating the pioneering journey towards a green fuel economy for global shipping.” Maersk, with over 100 methanol-enabled vessels on order across the industry, is taking a leading role in meeting the rising demand for green fuel production.
In the long term, the feeder vessel will transition to e-methanol sourced from a plant in Southern Denmark, operated by European Energy, set to commence operations in the first half of 2024.
Maersk has set ambitious sustainability targets, aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and a goal of transporting at least 25% of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030. The 2,100 TEU (twenty-foot-equivalent) feeder vessel represents a significant step toward renewing Maersk’s entire fleet with green fuel options. The company has also committed to ordering only new, owned vessels that include green fuel options.
With this partnership, Equinor and Maersk are at the forefront of driving sustainability in the maritime industry, showcasing a commitment to greener, more sustainable shipping practices.