Maersk will launch the first of its 18 large methanol-enabled vessels currently on order on February 9, 2024 on the AE7 string connecting Asia and Europe, which includes port calls in Shanghai, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo and Hamburg with Ningbo, China, being its first destination.

The container vessel, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea, has a nominal capacity of 16,000 containers (TEUs), and is equipped with a dual-fuel engine enabling operations on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional bunker fuel, says an official release.

Maersk has set a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2040 across the entire business and has also set tangible and ambitious near-term targets for 2030 to ensure significant progress, the release added. "Maersk has secured sufficient green methanol to cover the vessel’s maiden voyage and continues to work diligently on 2024-25 sourcing solutions for its methanol-enabled vessel fleet."

Karsten Kildahl, Chief Commercial Officer, Maersk says: “Deploying the first of our large methanol-enabled vessels on one of the world’s largest trade lanes, Asia - Europe, is a landmark in our journey towards our net zero target. With the vessel’s capacity of 16,000 containers, this will make a significant impact in our customers’ efforts to decarbonise their supply chains, and we are looking forward to introducing more methanol-enabled vessels on this and other trades during 2024."

Ahead of its deployment, the vessel will be named at the shipyard by the end of January 2024. "The following two sister vessels will be deployed in the first half of 2024 with naming events taking place in Yokohama, Japan, and Los Angeles, USA. Maersk expects to take delivery of four additional sister vessels in the second half of 2024."

At the time of deployment of the first large vessel, it will be the only second container vessel in the world that can sail on green methanol - the first being the feeder vessel Laura Maersk which entered service in September this year.

Maersk vessels on order

*Maersk has 24 container vessels on order

*All vessels currently on order will be equipped with dual-fuel engines and will be able to operate on green methanol

*12 of the vessels on order have a capacity of 16,000 TEUs

*Six of the vessels on order have a capacity of 17,000 TEUs

*Six of the vessels on order have a capacity of 9,000 TEUs

*Since 2021, Maersk has had a policy of only ordering new vessels able to operate on green fuels

AE7 service
The AE7 string connects Asia and Europe through the Suez Canal. The string has the following port calls: Ningbo, Shanghai, Nansha, Yantian (all China), Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Port Tangiers (Morocco), Felixstowe (U.K.), Hamburg (Germany), Antwerp (Belgium), London Gateway (U.K.), Le Havre (France), Port Tangiers, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Jebel Ali (UAE).

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