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Maersk to Launch World’s First Carbon Neutral Vessel in 2023, If Partners Play Along

AP Moller-Maersk says it will launch the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel in 2023, seven years ahead of its original goal. The objective will be reached earlier than planned because of advances in technology and increasing customer demand for sustainable supply chains.

Maersk’s methanol feeder vessel will be able to operate on standard very low sulphuric fuel oil (VLSFO), but the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one. All future vessels will have dual fuel technology installed, enabling either carbon neutral operations or operation on VLSFO.

Around half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers have set – or are in the process of setting – ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains, and the figure is on the rise. “Our ambition to have a carbon neutral fleet by 2050 was a moonshot when we announced in 2018. Today we see it as a challenging, yet achievable target to reach,” says Søren Skou, CEO of AP Moller – Maersk.

One of the challenges will be to source an adequate supply of carbon neutral methanol within its timeline to pioneer the technology. By offering the scalable carbon neutral product to customers, the company hopes to give fuel suppliers incentive to scale production of the fuels of the future. Thus the success of the goal will depend on customers embracing the “groundbreaking product,” and on strengthened collaboration with fuel manufacturers, technology partners and developers to ramp up production fast enough, the company says. The shipping industry accounts for between two percent and three percent of global GHG emissions, wrote the World Economic Forum. The industry is responsible for 90% of world trade by volume.

This article originally appeared on Environment + Energy Leader

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