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Maersk’s First Methanol Boxship Arrives in Europe

bunkering in rotterdam
Maersk's new feeder ship completed the first green methanol bunkering in Rotterdam (OCI Global)

Published Aug 29, 2023 4:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first methanol-fueled containership, Maersk’s new feeder ship, arrived in Europe making more firsts on its record-setting maiden voyage. Completing final preparations for its upcoming naming ceremony and festivities centered on the decarbonization of the shipping industry, the vessel is set to usher in a new era for container shipping and the maritime industry.

A.P. Moller – Maersk ordered the world’s first methanol dual-fuel containership in 2021 and took delivery of the vessel from its builders in South Korea early in July. Since that first order, Maersk has entered into contracts for 24 additional dual-fuel vessels due to start entering service next year and continuing till 2026. The container shipping segment as a whole has rapidly moved to the adoption of methanol as a next-generation fuel with DNV calculating that there are now 144 methanol-fueled containerships on order, representing 80 percent of the total orders for methanol-fueled ships due for entry into service in the next five years.

Arriving in Rotterdam on August 28, the new Maersk ship is on the last leg of a more than 13,000 nautical mile maiden voyage. The ship will go on to Copenhagen, where Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, will have the honor of officially naming the ship on September 14. Maersk is also hosting a week of festivities between September 18 and 21 marking the ship’s entry into service.

Maersk has not yet confirmed the name of the vessel, but her AIS signal shows Laura Maersk. Designed to operate in the Baltic, the vessel is 564 feet long. It has a capacity for 2,100 TEU including reefer boxes. Maersk has said the vessel will provide a critical real operation experience for its crew as they learn to handle the new engines and using green methanol as a fuel. Similarly, OCI Global which supplied fuel for the trip said the green methanol bunkering provided an opportunity to develop and share bunkering guidelines among global ports as the industry prepares for the fuel transition.

 

Bunkering the vessel required nearly six hours during the port call in Egypt (SCZONE)

 

As part of the port call in Rotterdam, the ship completed the port’s first green methanol bunkering, the last on its maiden voyage. The first methanol bunkering took place in the Port of Ulsan, South Korea, and then again in Singapore. The containership arrived in East Port Said, Egypt on August 15 where they undertook another methanol bunkering. SCZone reported it took nearly six hours for the ship to be loaded with 500 tons of green methanol which was supplied from the barge Lara S. Fuel supplier OCI Global made arrangements to supply green methanol to the vessel during each leg of its maiden voyage to demonstrate the potential of reducing carbon emissions by adopting the new technology and fuel.

OCI Global is preparing to launch its green methanol bunkering operation in Rotterdam starting next year. The company recently reached an agreement with Unibarge that will see them develop the world’s first dual-fuel bunker barge to be deployed in Rotterdam.

Maersk has emblazoned the phrase “All the Way to Zero,” on the hull of the first methanol dual-fuel ship to highlight its commitment to decarbonization. The company has stated that it aims to transport a minimum of 25 percent of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline. Maersk’s target is net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.