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New research centre sets out to develop zero-CO2 shipping

According to the New York Times, the shipping industry carries around 80 per cent of global trade and accounts for approx. 3 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Photo credit: Johan Taljaard / Unsplash

The shipping is well aware of their environmental impact and in Denmark, bringing down CO2 emissions has been high on shipping companies’ agenda in recent years.

Now, the A.P Møller Foundation, which owns large parts of the Danish shipping giant Maersk, has decided to establish a new research centre together with industry partners. The centre is named after the late Mr. Møller and is known as the "Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping". The goal is to research and develop carbon-free shipping methods – or find solutions to substantially reduce CO2 from shipping. The centre has received a start-up donation from the A.P Møller Foundation of EUR 54 million.

Chairman of the Board in The A.P. Møller Foundation, Ane Uggla comments:

“With this donation, The A. P. Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping. My father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than 7 decades. He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already in the 1980’ies he championed the use of low sulphur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990’ies to minimize the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my Father’s name will be connected to the centre.”

Furthermore, CEO of Maersk and future board member of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Søren Skou adds:

“The founding partners and the A.P. Møller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonise the shipping industry. The establishment of the centre is a quantum leap towards realising that ambition. This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision-making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies. I am looking forward to join the Board of this ambitious collaboration."

The founding company partners behind this initiative are ABS, A.P. Moller - Maersk, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Lines and Siemens Energy.

Non-profit centre to employ 100 people

All founding partners have committed to donate experts, resources and/or testing platforms to support the research centre. It is the expectation among the partners that several additional companies and organisations will join the research centre in the future as the centre’s results will be widely available in the shipping sector.

“The centre will be a non-profit organisation, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research centre, it will work across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and authorities. A highly specialised, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonisation pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonising fuels and powering technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable transformation,” states Maersk in a press release on the establishment of the research centre.

Initially, writes, the centre aims to recruit around 100 employees in the Copenhagen office, where they will engage with several peers and partners around the globe. In addition to leadership and administration, the centre staff will include subject matter experts in energy, fuels and ship technology as well as regulatory affairs, finance and the global energy transition.



Photo: Johan Taljaard

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