The next generation of alternatively fuelled ships look remarkably like existing vessels if images released today by Danish carrier Maersk are anything to go by.
Maersk today unveiled images of its soon-to-launch 2,000 teu, dual fuel ship, which can run on either VLSFO or methanol, a landmark ship that has since opened the floodgates to many more methanol vessels being contracted at yards across Asia.
The ship was ordered two years ago and is due for delivery from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard this year, likely for deployment in the Baltic.
“I am very happy with the progress we are making on the project. We have now completed all key design-related milestones and production is progressing at full speed with delivery expected during summer. It has been a huge project, but we have succeeded not least due to great collaboration internally in Maersk and with our external partners,” said Ola Jakobsen, head of fleet technology at Maersk.
Maersk also has a series of 16,000 teu methanol dual-fuelled ships under construction in South Korea, and other liners have followed its lead.
It is now not just containerlines going for methanol as the preferred alternative future fuel, dry bulk and tanker orders are also in the mix as are a host of leading names in the cruise business.
MAN Energy Solutions, one of the key engine suppliers for this type of propulsion, said last month that the interest in methanol as a fuel has surged and represents more than 30% of all its current, open pipeline projects across a broad range of vessel segments.
Analysis from class society DNV shows methanol was the second most popular alternative fuel choice for newbuild orders last year after LNG, with 35 ships ordered, bringing the total count to 82 ships. That tally has soared to cross the 100 mark this year.