Equinor to Supply Fuel for Maersk's Methanol-powered Containership
Danish shipping company A.P. Moller - Maersk announced it has signed an agreement with Norwegian energy company Equinor to secure supply of methanol for its new methanol-enabled feeder vessel during its initial months of operation from September 2023 and into the first half of 2024.
The agreement ensures methanol supply for the ship from its entry into operation on a loop from Northern Europe into the Baltic Sea after the name giving ceremony later this month in Copenhagen. The green methanol will be bunkered in Rotterdam.
The 2,100 TEU vessel was built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Hyundai Heavy Industries and features dual fuel main and auxiliary engines from MAN Energy Solutions that are able to operate on cleaner-burning methanol.
“Equinor is pleased to be partnering up with Maersk in delivering greener fuels to the marine industry. Equinor is an established player in the European methanol market through its production plant at Tjeldbergodden and we have ambitions to be a key provider of green methanol in the marine fuel segment, says Alex Grant, senior vice president for the liquid commodity segment at Equinor.
The biomethanol is produced from biogas from manure. The biogas is upgraded to biomethane and injected into the existing gas grid and the methanol is produced from the biomethane in the grid on a mass-balance basis. The existing European biogas certificate system is used to trace the attributes of the biomethane to the biomethanol and safeguard against double-claims. This way, green methanol can be produced in existing facilities using existing infrastructure and plants enabling a quick route to market. The method can contribute to a greener gas grid while capturing harmful methane emissions that would arise from the manure feedstock if left untouched. The biomethanol is ISCC EU certified in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
“We are very pleased to partner with Equinor, as it’s entering this business area. It is critical to get energy majors to the table and start supplying future fuels at scale. This is the form of engagement we need to continue accelerating the pioneering journey towards a green fuel economy for global shipping. With more than 100 methanol enabled vessels on order across the industry, the demand for green fuel production is rising and will continue to do so in the years to come,” said Rabab Boulos, chief infrastructure officer at A.P. Moller - Maersk.
Long term, the feeder vessel will be fueled by e-methanol from a plant in Southern Denmark, operated by European Energy, which is expected to come on-stream in the first half of 2024.
Maersk, which targets net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, said its new methanol-enabled feeder vessel marks a a step toward the long-term objective of gradually renewing the entire Maersk fleet to operate solely on green fuels. The company aims to transport a minimum of 25% of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030 and has on order 24 additional methanol vessels for delivery between 2024 and 2027 with a policy to only order new, owned vessels that comes with a green fuel option.