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Maersk is taking the next step on future fuel race, it has ordered eight 16,000 teu dual fuel containerships from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2024. The contract with HHI includes options for four additional vessels to deliver in 2025.

Earlier this year, Maersk became the first liner to order a landmark first 2,100 teu methanol dual-fuelled ship at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (the South Korean shipbuilder), that is currently under construction in China. The main engine is being developed by MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Engine and Machinery, and the auxiliary engine by Himsen in collaboration with Hyundai Mipo and Maersk. The Danish-flagged vessel will be deployed by the Sealand Europe brand in the Baltic between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia. 

Maersk said that more than half its largest customers, such as Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, HP Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, The Procter and Gamble Company, PUMA, Schneider Electric, Signify, Syngenta and Unilever, have, or are in the process of setting, science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains.

While many top containership owners are looking to LNG as interim fuel to reduce emissions with a potential pathway to zero carbon operations using synthetic Liquefied Natural Gas, Maersk has eschewed ordering LNG-fuelled tonnage, company views methanol as a better alternative, and plans to stop ordering another vessel that runs solely on carbon-based fuels.

Maersk underlines that the new ships are replacement tonnage, with a swathe of older ships set to be recycled in the coming years as part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal program. Company will maintaining a fleet capacity in the 4.0 to 4.3 million TEU range, as a linking of Maersk managed and time-chartered vessels.

The series will replace older vessels, generating annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tons and offer customers carbon-neutral transportation at scale.