Maersk names 2nd large methanol-powered containership in Yokohama

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The choice of Yokohama as the venue for the christening ceremony was deliberate, highlighting Maersk’s collaboration with the City of Yokohama to build a specialized bunkering infrastructure for methanol.

Danish container shipping heavyweight Maersk hosted a naming ceremony for its second large methanol-enabled containership Astrid Mærsk.

The Danish-flagged 16,000 TEU ultra-large containership was christened earlier today in Yokohama, Japan.

Mrs. Liza Uchida, spouse of Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida served as godmother and christened the vessel.

Nissan to name Maersk‘s third methanol-powered containership

Astrid Mærsk is the second of Maersk’s 18 large methanol-enabled vessels, scheduled for delivery between 2024 and 2025. The ship is set to enter into service on the AE12 string connecting Asia and Europe in April. The first vessel from the series, Ane Mærsk, was delivered in January 2024 and it was deployed in the Asia-Europe trade.

“We are truly excited to welcome ‘Astrid Mærsk’ to our new fleet capable of sailing on green methanol. With this vessel and her sister vessels, Maersk is taking important steps on the journey towards the energy transition of ocean transport. No one can do this alone,” Vincent Clerc, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.

“To enable green supply chains and accelerate shipping’s move towards net-zero emissions, continuous courageous action by dedicated customers like Nissan, industry peers, and suppliers is essential. Importantly, to maintain momentum, there is a need for global regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to close the price gap between fossil and green fuels to secure a level playing field.”

The location of the christening ceremony was not selected by chance, as Maersk is working with the City of Yokohama to develop a dedicated bunkering infrastructure for green methanol. The move is part of Yokohama’s plans to develop Japan’s green shipping corridors.

The container shipping company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Yokohama and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical on the development of green methanol bunkering infrastructure in Yokohama in December 2023.

The collaboration will focus on examining operational feasibility and developing port facilities required for green methanol bunkering at the port.

The City of Yokohama oversees the Port of Yokohama, which includes the Minami-Honmoku container terminal operated by APM Terminals Japan.

Namely, Maersk plans to equip a total of 25 of its vessels with dual-fuel engines powered by methanol as part of its strategy of becoming a net zero company by 2040. However, the implementation of the strategy relies heavily on the development of the bunkering infrastructure for green methanol which is in the early stages of development.

Therefore, Maersk has taken it upon itself to develop the necessary infrastructure by partnering with potential fuel developers and strategic ports to help spur the development of the supply chain. The liner major has signed off-take agreements with a number of fuel suppliers, including Equinor, Chinese developer Goldwind, CIMC ENRIC, European Energy, Green Technology Bank, Orsted, and Proman, among others, to source sufficient supply of the fuel.

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