Indian Transport & Logistics

Maersk to pioneer conversion to methanol dual-fuel engine

Maersk has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions to retrofit the engine

Maersk to pioneer conversion to methanol dual-fuel engine
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Maersk, in an industry first, will retrofit an existing ship to a dual-fuel methanol powered vessel and sail on green methanol*.

The first engine retrofit in the industry is scheduled to be conducted in 2024 and replicate on other vessels when going for special survey in 2027, says an official release.

“We have set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2040 across the entire business and have taken a leading role in decarbonising logistics," says Leonardo Sonzio, Head of Fleet Management and Technology, Maersk. "Retrofitting engines to run on methanol is an important lever in our strategy. With this initiative, we wish to pave the way for future scalable retrofit programmes in the industry and thereby accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green fuels. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that methanol retrofits can be a viable alternative to newbuildings."

Maersk has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions to retrofit the engine, the release said.

“In 2021, we ordered the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel following a commitment to the principle of only ordering new build vessels that can sail on green fuels. Concurrently, we have explored the potential in retrofitting existing vessels with dual-fuel methanol engines. Having teamed up with MAN ES, we are now ready to demonstrate how retrofitting vessels with methanol dual-fuel capabilities can be done,” says Sonzio.

Project to begin next year
Replacing engine parts and thereby making the engine able to operate on methanol is a rather complex task but only a part of the larger retrofit operation, the release said. "For instance, new fuel tanks, fuel preparation room and fuel supply system are also a part of the retrofitting of the vessel for green methanol."

Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology (responsible for the retrofit project), Maersk says: “Detailed engineering for the first retrofit is ongoing and the actual implementation will take place in the middle of 2024. Meanwhile, discussions with potential yards are ongoing."

Maersk currently operates more than 700 vessels with around 300 of them being owned by Maersk, the release said.

(*Maersk defines green fuels as fuels with low to very low GHG emissions over their life cycle compared to fossil fuels.)

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