Maersk Pioneers Zero-carbon Drive Research in Shipping Sector

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  • A.P. Moller-Maersk will team up to set up a research center in Denmark.
  • Denmark’s Maersk aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • Research center would combine knowledge from industry, academia, and regulators.
  • A.P. Moller Foundation has donated $60.36 million towards research hub set to initially employ 100 people.
  • Denmark has the world’s most ambitious climate goals of cutting emissions by 70% by 2030.

According to an article published in Reuters and authored by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, A.P. Moller-Maersk will team up with industry majors to set up a research center in Denmark with the aim of reducing carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

Carbon-neutral by 2050

Denmark’s Maersk, which aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050, said on Thursday the research center would combine knowledge from industry, academia, and regulators towards decarbonizing the industry by developing carbon-neutral fuel and technologies.

The shipping industry, which carries around 80% of global trade and accounts for around 3% of global carbon emissions, pledged last year to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions ready by 2030.

The move would be funded by Maersk’s majority owner, the A.P. Moller Foundation, which has donated 400 million Danish crowns ($60.36 million) towards building the Copenhagen-based research hub set to initially employ 100 people, Maersk said.

Home to renewable energy majors

Denmark, which has one of the world’s most ambitious climate goals of cutting emissions by 70% by 2030, is home to renewable energy majors like wind farm developer Orsted and turbine maker Vestas.

With this donation, The A. P. Moller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping, chairman of the foundation’s board, Ane Uggla, said.

The center, which would be an independent nonprofit organization, is founded by shipping firms Maersk and NYK Lines as well as Siemens Energy, MAN Energy Solutions, ABS, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and trading conglomerate Cargill Inc.

Chairman of the Board in the A.P. Møller Foundation, Ane Uggla comments:

With this donation, The A. P. Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping. My father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than 7 decades. He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already in the 1980’ies, he championed the use of low sulphur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990’ies to minimize the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my Father’s name will be connected to the center.

Independent research center

The center will be a non-profit organization, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research center, it will work across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia, and authorities. A highly specialized, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonization pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonizing fuels and power technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial, and commercial means to enable transformation.

To define the strategic direction of the center, a Board of Directors is being established. Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller – Mærsk has been confirmed as Board Member. Additional members of the Board of Directors will be announced upon appointment.

Future member of the Board, Søren Skou, says:

“The founding partners and the A.P. Møller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonize the shipping industry. The establishment of the center is a quantum leap towards realizing that ambition. This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies. I am looking forward to joining the Board of this ambitious collaboration.

The leadership of large-scale industry projects

Furthermore, the center will have a management board, which will be headed by Bo Cerup-Simonsen as CEO of the center. Bo Cerup-Simonsen holds a Ph.D. from the Technical University of Denmark in Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture, and has a proven track record in leadership of large-scale industry projects, maritime technology, research, and innovation.

This is the early days of a demanding and necessary transformation of an entire industry. Thanks to the A.P. Møller Foundation and the support from industry-leading partners we now have a unique opportunity to unfold the potential of a sector-wide collaboration towards complete decarbonization. The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping provides a solid platform for the entire eco-system to join forces, demonstrate new solutions, and identify the next steps to make it happen. I’m excited to let the work begin, expanding the collaboration with a broad variety of contributors, adds Bo Cerup-Simonsen.

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Source: Reuters & Maersk

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