World’s First Methanol-Powered Container Ship Inaugurated by Maersk

The world's first methanol-powered containership Laura Maersk pictured during her naming ceremony.
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The world’s first methanol-powered container ship, named Laura Maersk, was christened in the port of Copenhagen. The ship, ordered by Danish shipping giant Maersk, is the first of 25 methanol-powered vessels that the company plans to use. Maersk aims to power the ships with zero-emission green methanol. The christening was conducted by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen along with Maersk Chairman Robert Uggla and Maersk Managing Director Vincent Clerc. Maersk has set a goal of achieving zero new greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and aims to transport at least 25% of ocean freight using green fuels by 2030.

Maersk’s long-term goal is to convert its entire fleet to run exclusively on environmentally friendly fuels. The company has ordered 24 additional methanol vessels to be delivered between 2024 and 2027. Maersk acquired the Laura Maersk from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea and it is used on a Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Gulf of Bothnia. To meet the demand for green methanol, Maersk’s majority owner, AP Moller Holding, has created a new company called C2X to advance large-scale production of the fuel.

According to DNV, methanol is becoming a preferred alternative fuel for the shipping industry to decarbonize. More than 200 ships have already been ordered with the methanol fuel option. The christening of Laura Maersk is seen as a significant milestone towards a sustainable future in the shipping industry, but Maersk acknowledges that there is still a long way to go before achieving zero emissions.

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