A.P. Møller - Mærsk is moving ahead with its decarbonisation goals and will introduce a series of eight large oceangoing container vessels capable of being operated on carbon-neutral methanol, starting in 2024.

The vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The agreement includes an option of four additional vessels in 2025.

The new vessels come as part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal programme and will replace 150,000 teu of existing capacity, which is scheduled to leave the Maersk managed fleet between 2020 and Q1 2024.

The replacement of these ships will generate annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tonnes, said Maersk.

The newbuilds will come with a dual-fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure (capex) for the dual-fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional low-sulphur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15 percent of the total price.

Maersk acknowledged that sourcing an adequate amount of carbon-neutral methanol from day one in service will be challenging, and Maersk continues to engage in partnerships and collaborations with relevant players to ensure adequate supply.

“The time to act is now if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge. This order proves that carbon-neutral solutions are available today across container vessel segments and that Maersk stands committed to the growing number of our customers who look to decarbonise their supply chains. Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed,” said Soren Skou, ceo of A.P. Møller - Mærsk.