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OCI Global, Maersk prepare first ship to run on green fuel

Shipping company Maersk has ordered a further six vessels that can sail on green methanol from Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. Image courtesy: Maersk

Chemicals company OCI Global announced it would fuel the world's first ship powered by green methanol, in a partnership with shipping company AP Moller-Maersk that could demonstrate ways to decarbonize global shipping.

OCI will provide biomethanol to power Maersk's first dual-fueled vessel, a container ship. The vessel will leave South Korea this year and sail to Northern Europe via the Suez Canal for its maiden voyage. 

The fuel will carry ISCC certification for sustainability, OCI said, adding that the deal would showcase its ability to supply marine customers with end-to-end green methanol solutions while providing proof-of-concept for green methanol as a safe, efficient fuel for global shipping.

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The marine sector accounts for three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and OCI, the largest producer of green methanol globally, has been promoting the fuel as a way of decarbonizing operations. The company anticipates global methanol demand will rise four million tons per year over the next five years.

Maersk has announced plans to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Towards this, the company aims to transport at least a quarter of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline.

In a release, OCI said aims to be "last mile operator of choice" at strategic ports, and is applying for approvals and permits to commercially bunker methanol. In February, it announced a project with Unibarge to retrofit a methanol-powered bunker barge – the world's first – for deployment at Rotterdam port. 

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