The first of 18 large methanol-enabled vessels currently on order will enter service on the Europe-Asia string in February

AP Moller–Maersk has announced that it is about to launch the first of its 18 large methanol-enabled vessels currently on order.

Maersk logo on building

The vessel will enter service on 9 February on the AE7 string connecting Asia and Europe.

This 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 (TEU) and is equipped with a dual-fuel engine enabling operations on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional bunker fuel.

Maersk said it had set a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2040 across the entire business, while also setting ’tangible and ambitious’ near-term targets for 2030 to ensure significant progress.

The group confirmed it had secured sufficient green1 methanol to cover the vessel’s maiden voyage, and said it continued to work diligently on 2024/25 sourcing solutions for its methanol-enabled vessel fleet.

”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,” said Karsten Kildahl chief commercial officer at Maersk.

“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 at the end of January.

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, US.

Maersk said it expected to take delivery of four additional sister vessels in the second half of 2024.