An offtake agreement between A.P. Moller-Maersk and Chinese developer Goldwind is to enable long-term annual volumes of 500 KT of methanol to power the first twelve large methanol-enabled Maersk vessels on order. First volumes are expected in 2026.

The offtake agreement reaches into the next decade and marks the first large-scale green methanol offtake agreement for the global shipping industry.

Maersk aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 across its business. The deal significantly de-risks the initial stages of Maersk’s net-zero journey and supports expectations for a competitive green methanol market towards 2030. The record-high volumes can annually propel more than half the methanol-enabled capacity Maersk currently has on order.

‘With this project, Goldwind will continue to explore the innovative application of new technologies, pursue the organic combination of green electricity and green fuel production, and optimise the production process of green methanol,’ says Wu Gang, chairman, Goldwind. ‘Goldwind is committed to collaborating with companies involved in the green methanol industry, with the aim to make green methanol one of the most important and economically feasible clean maritime fuels in the future.’

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Bio and e-methanol

The volumes combine a mix of green bio-methanol and e-methanol, all produced utilising wind energy at a new production facility in Hinggan League, Northeast China, around 1000 km northeast of Beijing. Production is expected to begin in 2026. Following this signed offtake agreement, Goldwind expects to confirm a final investment decision for the facility by the end of the year.

Rabab Raafat Boulos, chief infrastructure officer at Maersk: ‘We are encouraged by the agreement because its scale and price confirm our view that green methanol currently is the most viable low-emission solution for ocean shipping that can make a significant impact in this decade. The deal is a testament to the momentum and vast efforts we see among ambitious developers driving projects forward across geographies, however, we still have a long way to go in ensuring a global green fuels market that can enable the decarbonisation of global shipping.’

A.P. Moller-Maersk will take delivery of its first large ocean-going methanol-enabled vessel (16,000 TEU) in the first quarter of 2024 and is diligently working on sourcing solutions with a broad range of global partners for the entire vessel series being delivered in 2024-25.

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