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Maersk Bets on Alcohol Over Batteries to Cut Shipping Emissions


The world’s largest shipping company believes that alternative fuels, such as alcohol, are a more viable option than electricity to help the industry become carbon neutral over the course of a generation.

AP Moller-Maersk A / S said Thursday that, according to its own research, ship owners should focus on the development of alcohol, biomethane and ammonia. A study conducted with the Lloyd’s Register found that batteries and fuel cells were less acceptable mid-term alternatives.

maersk alcohol energy

Maersk, based in Copenhagen and operating more than 600 vessels, has invested about $ 1 billion over the past four years. U.S. in improving energy efficiency and promoting a clean carbon neutral by 2050. According to her, to achieve this goal it is necessary to develop new technologies, including changing the way ships move.

“It is too early to rule out anything, but we are confident that these three places are the right places to start,” said Soren Toft, Maersk’s COO. “Therefore, we will spend 80% of our attention on this working hypothesis and leave the remaining 20% ​​to consider other options.”


Earlier this year, Maersk conducted a successful test journey using biofuels on one of its largest container ships flying from Rotterdam to Shanghai.

The study also showed that industry is unlikely to be able to cut emissions without government regulation and that shipping costs will increase as new fuels are developed.

In related news on Thursday, Maersk Tankers said it was able to reduce fuel consumption by 8.2% on one of its tankers, complementing its traditional engine power with large sails.

Two rotary sails designed by Norsepower Oy Ltd create a pressure drop that propels the ship forward. A company that is also controlled by the Maersk family. said he would use what he called “breakthrough” technology to help it achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 30% from 2008 levels by 2021.

Christian Wienberg, Bloomberg