The world's first carbon-neutral liner vessel developed by Maersk will set sail as soon as 2023, as the world's largest container shipping company looks to accelerate its efforts to decarbonise its marine operations.
The liner, which will operate on methanol, will be launched seven years ahead of the targeted 2030 deadline.
Future infrastructure installed by Maersk will have dual fuel technology installed, enabling carbon neutral operations by allowing ships to run on methanol or on low-sulphur fuel oil when needed.
Vessels sailing across the world's oceans are some of the worst polluters, with the sulphur content released by ships proving particularly harmful to marine life. The International Maritime Organisation has mandated companies to reduce emissions of sulphur oxides from all ships from the beginning of 2020 in a bid to curb emissions of harmful sulphur oxides. Allowable sulphur emissions have been cut to 0.5 per cent of fuel oil, from 3.5 per cent previously used.
Maersk said its effort of ensuring carbon neutrality across its logistics chains was driven by customer expectations to make its business more sustainable.
"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,” said Danish business magnate Søren Skou who is chief executive at AP Moller-Maersk.
The carbon-neutral methanol feeder vessel will have a capacity of around 2,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), which is a term used by the shipping industry to measure cargo capacity.
The vessel will be deployed on intra-regional routes and will be designed to operate on e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol.
Companies such as Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's logistics subsidiary have also trialled running their fleet on biofuel, as shipping firms look at ways to become more sustainable.