Maersk fuel consumption down on vessel efficiency

  • Market: Biofuels, Oil products, Petrochemicals
  • 27/02/24

Maersk's vessels burned about 6.5pc less residual fuel oil and marine gasoil in 2023 than the prior year, which the Danish ship owner attributed to improved vessel fuel efficiencies.

Maersk's vessels burned about 9.7mn t of residual fuel oil and marine gasoil in 2023, down from 10.4mn tin 2022, while the company's vessels emitted 34.1mn t of CO2-equivalent emissions last year, down by 1pc from 2022.

It reduced its vessels' carbon intensity by 4pc in 2023 compared with a 2020 base line. It aims to reduce it by 50pc by 2030. Some of its customers, including Volvo Cars, Nestle, BESTSELLER, Inditex and Novo Nordisk are moving their cargoes on Maersk vessels powered by low carbon fuels. "While many Maersk customers have shown a willingness to pay a premium to decarbonise their supply chains, rising interest rates threaten to push fuel costs to customer limits", the company cautioned in its sustainability report.

Maersk is diverting its vessels from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid Yemen's Houthi militants' attacks on shipping. While this will increase its fuel consumption and emissions in 2024, the overall effect depends on the vessels' speed and duration of the Gaza conflict.

Maersk has two new methanol-fueled vessels: the 2,100 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container Laura Maersk delivered in September 2023 and the 16,000 TEU Ane Maersk delivered this month. The bio-methanol that Laura Maersk burns is procured in Rotterdam from Norway's methanol producer Equinor. The bio-methanol is produced from biogas from manure and is International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC) EU certified in accordance with the EU Renewable Energy Directive. Long term, Laura Maersk will be fueled by e-methanol supplied by European Energy's plant in southern Denmark which is expected to come on line by mid-2024. Bio-methanol reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 65pc and e-methanol by 70pc, says Maersk.

Maersk has another 23 new methanol-fueled vessels on order, 17 of these, with 16,000-17,000 TEU capacity that will be delivered from 2024-2025 and the last six vessels, with 9,000 TEU capacity, from 2026-2027. Maersk had signed a green methanol offtake agreement with Goldwind. Starting in 2026, Goldwind will supply it with 500,000t/year of green methanol from China, which it says will be "enough" for the first 12 of its methanol-capable vessels. In addition to ordering new methanol-enabled vessels, Maersk is also looking into converting an existing 14,000 TEU vessel from a traditional diesel engine to a dual-fuel methanol engine this year.


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