A.P. MOLLER – Maersk (Maersk) successfully secured green methanol for the maiden voyage of the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel in June. Achieving this green fuel milestone is a significant step for the company and the industry’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Maersk signed a deal with Dutch producer OCI Global on the delivery of green1 bio-methanol for the maiden journey. The 21,500 km trip from Ulsan, South Korea to Copenhagen, Denmark — more than halfway around the globe – will provide real operational experience for Maersk seafarers handling the new engines and using methanol as fuel, as the company prepares to receive a fleet of new, large ocean-going methanol-enabled ships from 2024.
“The green methanol market is still in its infancy and frankly we had not expected to be able to secure a maiden voyage on green methanol for this vessel. So, we are very proud to have achieved this significant milestone. We expect a diverse green fuel mix for the future, with green bio-methanol from biomass waste being available now,” said head of energy transition, A.P. Moller – Maersk, Morten Bo Christiansen.
OCI produces its green methanol at a US-based facility by using captured biogas from decomposing organic waste in landfills. The biogas is upgraded to biomethane and injected into the gas grid and the methanol is produced from the biomethane in the grid on a mass-balance basis. This way, green methanol can be produced in existing facilities using existing infrastructure and plants enabling a quick production. The method can contribute to a greener gas grid while capturing harmful methane emissions that would arise from the waste feedstock if left untouched. OCI’s green methanol is certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
To meet the ambitious 2040 target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in time, A.P. Moller – Maersk aims to transport a minimum of 25% of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline. The 2,100 TEU (twenty-foot-equivalent) landmark methanol-enabled feeder vessel is an important step toward the long-term objective of gradually renewing the entire fleet to operate solely on green fuels.
Maersk defines ’green fuels’ as fuels with low to very low GHG emissions over their life cycle compared to fossil fuels. Different green fuels achieve different life cycle reductions depending on their production pathway. By ‘low’ the company refer to fuels with 65-80% life cycle GHG reductions compared to fossil fuels. ‘Very low’ refers to fuels with 80-95% life cycle GHG reductions compared to fossil fuels.