Inspenet, September 18, 2023.
Shipping giant Maersk held a christening ceremony on Thursday for the world’s first ship powered by green methanol, marking a milestone in its strategy to gradually move away from the use of diesel and decarbonize shipping.
In Copenhagen, the company presented the “Laura Maersk”, a relatively small model capable of transporting around 2,136 containers (TEU) and which will begin operations in October.
This ship, built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and equipped with a dual-fuel engine, will achieve savings of 100 tons of CO 2 per day compared to a similar diesel-powered ship.
“Green methanol is our preferred fuel because it is the only solution capable of meeting the requirements of carbon neutrality,” said the company’s general director, Vincent Clerc, who inaugurated the ship together with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Green methanol, also called “e-methanol”, is generated by combining carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water with electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
According to the French Higher Institute of Maritime Economics (ISEMAR), global maritime transport has a greater environmental impact than air transport, contributing 2.89% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to recent data. of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
In search of the use of methanol
In early 2022, the Danish shipping company presented an ambitious strategic plan with the aim of gradually reducing dependence on diesel and meeting the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals established by the European Union within the framework of the Paris Agreement. .
In addition, the shipping company made investments in the production of the aforementioned fuel due to the shortage of supply in the market and launched an important project in Spain at the end of 2022.
With the support of the Spanish government and the collaboration of private sector partners, the project aimed to mobilize an investment of around 10 billion euros (equivalent to about 10.66 billion dollars at the current exchange rate) to establish two large centers of green methanol production, one located in Andalusia and another in Galicia.
It should be noted that the shipping company has set the goal of producing two million tons of green methanol per year by 2030 , enough to decarbonize approximately 10% of its ship fleet. Likewise, it plans to implement this production internally through five or six plants distributed in different locations around the world.