AP Moller-Maersk (Maersk) signed the MoU with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) to build strategic co-operation around a methanol marine fuel project for the port of Shanghai, China, says an article published on Riviera.
Methanol-fuelled container vessels
Specifically, Maersk is aiming to implement green methanol fuel vessel-to-vessel bunkering operations for its green methanol-fuelled container vessels that are being delivered from 2024.
“Collaborating with ports globally to build green fuel bunkering infrastructure is necessary to service methanol vessels,” Maersk chief executive Vincent Clerc said.
“Through joint efforts, we can provide low-carbon logistics service for our customers, also contributing to China’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2060. Meanwhile, we also endeavor to cultivate synergies with SIPG and fuel manufacturers to optimise fuel infrastructure efficiencies.”
Holistic methanol supply chain
Maersk said the MoU with SIPG could evolve from vessel-to-vessel bunkering into a more holistic methanol supply chain.
“In the first phase, SIPG, as Maersk’s potential energy bunkering service provider, will carry out services of vessel-to-vessel bunkering and fuel tank storage at port. In the potential second stage, the parties will explore how to form an all-round energy strategic partnership to promote the extension from bunkering services to the upstream of the green methanol industry chain,” Maersk said.
Delivered by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
Last week, Maersk released renderings of its first methnaol-fuelled container vessel, saying on Twitter “the build is on, and it’s soon to be delivered by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard” in South Korea.
Early stages of development
Since its decision to build the potentially carbon-neutral vessels, and as the company has increased its green methanol newbuild vessel commitment, Maersk has also invested heavily in building a methanol supply chain for its vessels. In December, the company signed its ninth agreement for renewable methanol supply.
Notably, many of the agreements have included funding that essentially enables green methanol production companies at early stages of development to build facilities, with Maersk often committing to cover full offtake of green methanol supplies once production has begun.
In spite of the company working to establish multiple strategic partnerships around the supply of green methanol, Maersk still lists fuel availability, supply levels and price as primary challenges for its plans to decarbonise.
“The availability of green energy and fuels in sufficient quantities and at cost-competitive price levels remains the main challenge for the decarbonisation of global shipping. Maersk alone needs approximately 6M tonnes of green methanol per year to reach its 2030 milestone fleet emissions target and even larger amounts by 2040 for its fleet to reach net zero,” Maersk said in late 2022.
Green methanol scheduled
Maersk has calculated the 19 vessels capable of running on green methanol that are scheduled to be in operation in coming years will require approximately 750,000 tonnes of green methanol annually.
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