Maersk has introduced the design of its eight new 16,000 TEU container vessels that will be powered by methanol. With the accommodation at the bow, the ships look distinctly different from conventional container ships. They are said to be twenty per cent more energy efficient per transported container.

The vessels will be 350 metres long and 53.5 metres wide. The crew accommodation and bridge will be located at the bow to enable increased container capacity. The funnel will be in the aft, and only on one side of the vessel, thereby providing further space for cargo. This separation between accommodation and funnel will also improve efficiency when in port.

The making of this took nearly five years. To enable the new design, several challenges had to be addressed, states Maersk. Firstly, crew comfort had to be ensured with the accommodation placed in this more exposed location. Moreover, adequate hull strength was also a key parameter to safeguard, with the accommodation block normally working as a hull “stiffener” when placed further backwards. New arrangements for lifeboats and navigational lights had to be developed, plus new cameras to support the captain’s view when navigating.

Also read: Maersk issues green bonds to fund first green methanol vessels

One roundtrip on green methanol

The series, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, comes with an innovative dual-fuel engine setup that can operate on methanol and conventional low-sulphur fuel. With fuel capacity, the vessels will be able to complete an entire round-trip, for example Asia-Europe, on green methanol. The entire series is expected to save around one million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions.

The first vessel is scheduled to be in operation at the beginning of 2024. Watch a video about the new container ships below.

Also read: Maersk eyes air lubrication for methanol-fuelled container ships