Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top Story

Maersk tests its clean fuel evolution

Container-shipping giant, A.P. Moeller Maersk A/S, has been making news through its various cleaner fuel developments and initiatives that the ocean carrier says will just not lower its carbon footprint, but could eventually lead to savings on its annual fuel bill.

One of the more notable developments the Danish shipping line has been working on is its recently concluded one-month-long, 6,500-nautical-mile test voyage of the 984-foot Maersk Kalmar that the company said burned 30 tons of biofuel.

Maersk’s test run of the renewable “algal” (algae) biofuel, supplied by the company, Solazyme, Inc., was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, which is also developing its own “green fleet” initiative that includes the goal of having 50 percent alternative energy usage by 2020.

"Maersk Line is committed to exploring the potential of biofuel for becoming a fuel for shipping in the future. We are pleased to see progress on algae-based biofuels and we encourage further development to make such fuels available at commercial scale," said Jacob Sterling, head of climate and environment for Maersk Line.

Maersk has also entered into low-sulfur usage agreements at seaports around the U.S and the world, including at ports in California, Pacific Northwest, Texas, Virginia, Sweden, and Singapore.

When calling those ports, Maersk says it switches to low-sulfur fuel while at berth in order to reduce emissions.

Maersk also announced it was testing an “exhaust scrubbing system” its 8,100-TEU Maersk Taurus, which operates the shipping line’s Asia-Europe service. The system’s aim is to see if it can clean out the dirty bunker fuel to the point of not needing to utilize the more costly low-sulfur fuel.

Maersk has also reportedly said the development of such renewable biofuels could eventually lead to a savings off the $6 billion a year the company spends on fuel for its ships.

However, for now, Maersk Line's Jacob Sterling admits biofuels are costly and relatively un-developed.

"Biofuel made from algae is one of the less developed biofuels and with further technological advancements it has the potential to be scaled up without impacting agriculture," Sterling said. "At this point it is early days for biofuels, so our focus is to continue pursuing tests and partnerships like this to keep building our knowledge around a variety of technologies and fuel types,” he said.



More Newswire stories

Wal-Mart taps Quintiq for load and dispatch software

California’s three-mile ballast water ruling approved by EPA

CMA CGM inks five-year deal with IBM

Chinese company seeks ban on Apple’s iPad moving in and out of China


The Port Handbook

Click to browse past stories on these topics:


Ports & Infrastructure

Economic Outlook

Environmental Impact