Maersk Ship Completes First Green Methanol Bunkering in Ulsan Ahead of MV

Maersk methanol bunkering
Ane Maersk bunkering in Ulsan, South Korea preparing for her maiden voyage (Port of Ulsan)

Published Feb 5, 2024 2:59 PM by The Maritime Executive


The world’s first large containership fueled by methanol achieved more firsts as she prepared for her maiden voyage this month. The Port of Ulsan, South Korea, is highlighting that it provided the location for the first green methanol fueling of the vessel as she completed sea trials and prepared for her maiden voyage. 

The Ane Maersk was christened in South Korea at her builder’s yard, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, on January 26. The company has now released pictures of the vessel at sea on her sea trials. According to her AIS signal, the 189,5000 DWT vessel is now bound for Ningbo, China, where she will soon begin her maiden voyage to Europe.

With a capacity of 16,592 TEU, she is the first large, ocean-going containership to enter service able to operate on methanol. The ship was outfitted Maersk highlights with dual-fuel engines and auxiliaries developed by MAN Energy Solutions that permit it to operate on green methanol as well as traditional marine fuels. She measures 1,148 feet (350 meters) in length with a 174-foot (53 meter) beam.


First green methanol bunkering took place in Ulsan, South Korea (Port of Ulsan)


While the vessel was at anchor in Ulsan Port, she completed the first ship-to-ship green methanol bunkering continuing the port’s leadership role in the developing alternative fuel market. The first ever green methanol bunkering took place in June 2023 also in Ulsan, when the Laura Maersk, the company’s methanol-fueled feeder ship, was delivered and began her voyage to Europe.

Port officials in Ulsan highlight their early experience with methanol bunkering noting that it will give them a competitive advantage in the developing sector. The first fueling of the Ane Maersk took place in November 2023 using traditional (grey) methanol made from fossil fuels. Now the vessel has fueled with green methanol made from renewable sources transferred from the bunker vessel Golden Sunny Hana owned by Hana Marine.

South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans Fisheries and the Ulsan Port Authority are working together to upgrade the related systems for sustainable bunkering. They highlight the efforts to establish standard operating procedures for the supply of methanol. They will continue to work with the private sector to secure the economics of sustainable marine fuel supply and develop the bunkering operations to support the shipping industry transition. 


Ane Maersk at sea on trials (Maersk)


Registered in Denmark, the ship is also a pioneer in a new era for the shipping industry. Since it was ordered in 2021, DNV estimates a total of 168 methanol-fueled containerships have been ordered. In addition to the new fuel, Maersk chose to introduce new design elements including moving the deck house and accommodations to the front of the vessel and a single offset funnel at the stern. As the additional pictures are released, it also shows a new arrangement for lifesaving equipment near midships. 

The company highlights that it is a more efficient cargo-handling design that will improve the productivity of the vessel. This comes as Maersk recently said will be targeting better than 90 schedule reliability when it launches its new cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd in 2025.

The Ane Maersk is the first of Maersk’s 18 large methanol-enabled vessels, that will be delivered between 2024 and 2025. The company has also signed a pilot project to convert an existing large containership to methanol-fueled operations.