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Maritime Propulsion

November 22, 2023

Maersk Enters Deal for Half a Million Tonnes of Green Methanol Annually

© aerial-drone / Adobe Stock

Maersk on Wednesday announced it had entered into the shipping industry's first large-scale agreement for green methanol from China's Goldwind, and said production of green methanol was high on the political agenda in China.

Shipping industry leader Maersk is investing in green fuels to power its fleet as it strives to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, while the shipping industry, responsible for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, aims for net-zero emissions by 2050.

"There's a lot of activity in China in this field for sure. It's because they have the natural resources that you need and it also seems to be high on the political agenda," Maersk's Head of Energy Transition Morten Bo Christiansen told Reuters.

Christiansen declined to comment on the deal value, but said its size of half a million tonnes of green methanol annually was significant enough to answer sceptics who have questioned the possibility of signing large agreements on green methanol.

"I think it's also a way of showing that it can be done. And there are companies out there who are willing to produce this at a cost that a shipping company feels they can afford," he said.

Maersk is also looking to green methanol projects in other parts of the world to create a more balanced portfolio.

"It's definitely likely that we will sign up more volumes from China ... But hopefully also from other countries," Christiansen said.

"We have much more in the pipeline," Christiansen said, and added "I think if we could get one more deal the size of this one, we would be good for the ships we have on order."

Deliveries of Goldwind's green methanol is expected to begin in 2026 and will annually power 12 large ocean-going container ships of the 24 methanol-enabled vessels Maersk currently has on order.

The volumes of fuel from Goldwind combine a mix of green bio-methanol and e-methanol, all produced by utilising wind energy at a new production facility located in Hinggan League, northeast China.

In September, Danish industrial group A.P. Moller Holding (APMH), majority-owner of Maersk, formed a new company called C2X to pursue large-scale green methanol operations.

The company, a month later, signed a framework agreement worth up to $3 billion for the production of green fuel in the Suez Canal economic zone.


(Reuters - Reporting by Johannes Birkebaek; editing by David Evans, Louise Rasmussen)