World’s First Green Methanol-Powered Ship: Laura Maersk’s Gothenburg Visit

October 16, 2023by CN_MAR

The world’s inaugural green methanol-powered containership, Laura Maersk, owned by Danish shipping powerhouse A.P. Moller Maersk, recently made a stopover at the Port of Gothenburg. This noteworthy event occurred on October 10, signifying a significant stride in the maritime industry’s shift towards sustainability. Laura Maersk’s arrival marks the inception of Maersk’s extensive initiative to adopt renewable methanol as a clean fuel source for its fleet. While Laura Maersk claims the title of the first of its kind, the company has committed to adding another 25 methanol-powered vessels to its ranks between 2024 and 2027. 

Therese Jällbrink, Head of Renewable Energy at the Gothenburg Port Authority, emphasized the significance of this development, stating, “This ship is a significant milestone for the maritime industry’s green transition, but it is just the beginning. We will see another nearly 200 methanol-powered ships sailing the oceans fairly soon.” Maersk’s overarching goal is to attain net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, and their collaboration with the Port of Gothenburg is an essential part of this mission. 

Birna Odefors, Nordic Managing Director at A.P. Møller – Maersk, highlighted the importance of partnerships in achieving their green objectives and offering environmentally-friendly shipping solutions to their customers. She remarked, “No one can tackle this task alone, and we need strong partners for the green transformation of shipping to succeed in time.” 

The future of the shipping industry is closely tied to sustainability, with impending regulations from both the European Union and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Starting in 2024, the EU will include shipping within its emissions trading system, which is expected to reduce the cost gap between fossil and renewable fuels. Moreover, the IMO has recently raised its emissions reduction goal from 50% to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for shipping by 2050, with incremental emissions reductions along the way. 

Maersk is not the only company investing significantly in renewable methanol propulsion. Numerous other shipping firms have vessels either in production or undergoing conversion for methanol propulsion, with approximately 125 of these being containerships. The Port of Gothenburg is actively working to facilitate this transition to cleaner fuels and aims to become Scandinavia’s largest hub for renewable energy, with renewable methanol playing a pivotal role in the future fuel mix. 

In conclusion, the visit of the Laura Maersk to the Port of Gothenburg symbolizes a pivotal moment in the maritime industry’s move towards sustainability. With more methanol-powered vessels in the pipeline and increased regulatory support for cleaner fuels, the green transformation of shipping is undoubtedly gaining momentum, with strong partnerships and shared responsibility driving this essential change. 


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