05 December 2023
Danish container ship operator has revealed some of the details of its new methanol powered vessels. The company ordered a total of eight 16,000 TEU ships from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in August this year.
According to Maersk, the methanol powered containership design is unique to the industry. It allows a 20% improved energy efficiency per transported container, when comparing to the industry average for same vessels size. Additionally, the entire series will save around one million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions according to expectations. Thus, offering customers carbon-neutral transportation at scale on ocean trades.
The 350m long, 53.5m wide vessel will look significantly different from what you may have seen before for large containerships. The crew accommodation and bridge will be located at the bow to enable increased container capacity. The funnel will be at the port side aft quarter of the vessel, thereby providing further space for cargo. This separation between accommodation and funnel will also improve efficiency when at the port as all 22 stacks (21 on the port side) will be present with no superstructure between first and last.
Maersk says the making of this took nearly five years, and all while crossing uncharted naval design territory. To enable this new design, the company had to address several challenges. Firstly, ensuring crew comfort with placing the accommodation in this more exposed location. Moreover, adequate hull strength was a key parameter to safeguard, with the accommodation block working as a hull “stiffener” when placed further aft. New arrangements for lifeboats and navigational lights had to be developed, plus new cameras to support navigators’ view when navigating.
The series, built by HHI, comes with an innovative dual-fuel engine setup. It is capable of operating on methanol and conventional low-sulphur fuel. With 16,000m3 of tank capacity, the vessels will be able to complete the entire round-trip (Asia-Europe) on green methanol. Engine and fuel tanks will be located in the hull under stacks 17 and 18.
According to schedule, the first vessel will enter operation at the beginning of 2024. The company looks forward to get these vessels across the world’s oceans and thus continue creating new solutions to improve the efficiency of the future supply chain.
Very exciting and innovative design from Maersk while also green considering the methanol range potential. The Nerd is particularly curious to see whether the next gen vessel will benefit from IoT technology for shipping operations.