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Global News Maersk makes Spanish deal to expand green fuel production

Registration dateNOV 15, 2022

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe EditorNov 04, 2022 10:52AM EDT
source : JOC.com (The Journal of Commerce)

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor
Nov 04, 2022 10:52AM EDT
source : JOC.com (The Journal of Commerce)

Maersk makes Spanish deal to expand green fuel production Maersk has 19 vessels on order with dual-fuel engines able to operate on green methanol. Photo credit: Maersk.

Maersk has signed a deal with the Spanish government that could deliver it up to 2 million tons of green fuels a year as the carrier moves to lock in greater access to renewable energy sources critical to its net-zero pathway.

The “general protocol for collaboration” agreement will explore the opportunities for large-scale green fuels production in the Andalusia and Galicia regions of Spain, Maersk said in a statement Friday.

The partnership with Spain follows a similar deal with Egypt and the signing of strategic agreements with six producers in March to secure enough green methanol globally by 2025 to power the 19 methanol-compliant vessels the carrier will deploy over the next three years.

“Operating a large fleet of container vessels, we are part of the climate problem, and we have made the choice to take an active part in shaping the solutions to secure a green and just transition, enabling the global shipping industry to deliver on the Paris Agreement and Maersk to achieve its 2040 net-zero target,” Henriette Hallberg, CEO for fleet and strategic brands at A.P. Møller-Maersk, said in a statement Friday.

Maersk needs about 6 million tons of green methanol per year to reach its 2030 fleet emissions target, and even larger amounts by 2040 for its fleet to reach net-zero. The carrier said the availability of green fuels in sufficient quantities and at cost-competitive prices remains the main challenge for the decarbonization of global shipping. Clearing the ‘ultimate hurdle’ Classification society DNV has called the availability of carbon-neutral fuels the “ultimate hurdle” facing shipping’s drive to decarbonize, with 5 percent of the energy consumed by shipping needing to be fossil-free by 2030 if 2050 targets are to be met. Container shipping will also be competing to secure shore-side production of green fuels with other energy-hungry industries.

“To achieve our goals, we need to collaborate with partners who are actively looking at green solutions for the future,” Hallberg said.

Shipping accounts for an estimated 3 percent of carbon emissions caused by human activities. Current International Maritime Organization (IMO) targets are to cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 as measured against a 2008 baseline, and by 70 percent by 2050. These will be reviewed in 2023, and a proposal is on the table to fully decarbonize shipping by 2050.

“We are living in a climate emergency, and we need to rapidly accelerate the availability of green future fuels,” Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller-Maersk, said Friday’s statement.

While Maersk hitches its decarbonization wagon to methanol, CMA CGM is taking the path of methane. CMA CGM and French energy giant Engie are co-investing in a biomethane project in the North European hub port of Le Havre that will be capable of producing up to 200,000 tons of renewable gas for the shipping industry by 2028.
· Contact Greg Knowler at greg.knowler@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.