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Maersk To Run First-Ever Methanol Fuelled Freight Ship In 2023

Denmark based logistics firm Maersk has pledged to launch a carbon-neutral ocean liner by 2023, seven years ahead of their schedule.

The vessel, which is set to run on either e-methanol or bio-methanol obtained from a sustainable methanol supplier, are part of the company’s goal to run an entire carbon-neutral fleet by the year 2050, according to their press release.

The initial pledge to move towards a wholly carbon neutral fleet was announced in 2018, and since then the industry has begun to push for a 60 per cent reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Part of the reason this has been an issue is the particular types of fuels both the sea freight and aviation industry use.

As giant transport ships are very heavy, they require a lot of fuel, so many operators use heavy fuel oils, which billow high amounts of carbon dioxide, sulphur and other pollutants into the atmosphere.

Ensuring a sufficient supply of any replacement fuel has been the stopping point of many endeavours to clean up the freight industry in the past.

Even these new liners will also have the ability to run on very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) as well, in case enough biofuel is unavailable.

However, with rapid advances in sustainable biofuel technology, as well as the potential for hydrogen fuel cells and other carbon-neutral technologies being brought in, the shipping industry may become unrecognisable by the end of the decade.