EC president names world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel

The world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel will carry the name “Laura Mærsk”, the European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen revealed at a ceremony in Copenhagen on September 14.

During the ceremony, von der Leyen christened the vessel by breaking a champagne bottle over the bow. Besides the president, Maersk Chair Robert Uggla and Maersk Chief Executive Officer Vincent Clerc also spoke at the ceremony.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk, said: “Laura Maersk is a historic milestone for shipping across the globe. It shows the entrepreneurial spirit that has characterized Maersk since the founding of the company. 

“However, more importantly this vessel is a very real proof point that when we as an industry unite through determined efforts and partnerships, a tangible and optimistic path toward a sustainable future emerges. This new green vessel is the breakthrough we needed, but we still have a long way to go before we make it all the way to zero.”

“Laura” is a proud Maersk name deeply rooted in some of the company’s very early innovative landmarks. When Captain Peter Maersk Moller bought his first steamship in 1886, he named her “Laura”. With its steam engine, “Laura” was a product of the second industrial revolution, making its impact on the shipping industry significant.

Furthermore, “Laura” was the first vessel to wear the white seven-pointed star on a light blue background. This symbol later would become the logo of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Maersk has an ambitious 2040 target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions and aims to transport a minimum of 25% of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030. 

The 2,100 TEU (twenty-foot-equivalent) feeder vessel is an important step toward the long-term objective of gradually renewing the entire Maersk fleet to operate solely on green fuels. 

Maersk has 24 additional methanol vessels on order for delivery between 2024 and 2027 and a policy to only order new, owned vessels that come with a green fuel option.

Photo credit: Maersk. EC president Ursula von der Leyen (center).

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