In a deal valued at more than £1.5 billion, Danish shipping company Maersk Line has ordered 10 of the world’s most energy efficient container vessels.
The new Maersk ships
have been dubbed the 'Triple-E
’ for their economy of scale, energy efficiency
and how environmentally improved they are. They will be built at Korea’s DSME
shipyard from 2013 to 2015.
The ships, the largest of any vessels in use, will stretch 400 metres (m) long, 59 m wide and 73 m tall. Yet despite their massive size, the Triple-E ships will be the most efficient container vessels ever made, Maersk said. The vessels will release 50 per cent less CO2 than the average trade ship between Europe and Asia, using measurements employed by the Clean Cargo Working Group, which calculates the number of grams of CO2 per container moved one kilometre.
CO2 of shipping
The shipping industry is responsible for almost 80 per cent of global trade by volume and the sector’s emissions now total over a billion tonnes a year. As the global population grows and living standards continue to improve, it is estimated the carbon footprint of sea
trade could more than double by 2040 if left unchecked.
"International trade will continue to play a key role in the development of the global economy; but, for the health of the planet, we must continue to reduce our CO2 emissions," said Eivind Kolding, Maersk Line CEO, announcing the contract yesterday.
"One of the biggest challenges we face in the world today is how to meet the growing needs of a growing population and while minimising the impact that is going to have on our planet."
Maersk has pledged to halve its carbon emissions
per tonne-kilometre by 2040, mostly by retrofitting its current fleet but also through buying higher performance vessels.
Cost of the new ships
Maersk Line has purchased
the new ships for £117 million ($190 million) each and left the option to acquire an additional 20, bringing the contract total to £3.5 billion ($5.7 billion).
Their size gives them a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). With a five to eight per cent grow rate expected for trade between Asia and Europe, Maersk Line hopes to profit from purchasing the new vessels.
Other players in the shipping industry are starting to clean up their act. Mitsubishi has unveiled plans for a large container ship that will see a 35 per cent cut in emissions, while Samsung Heavy Industries, the world’s second-largest shipbuilder, has said all its new builds will emit up to 30 per cent less greenhouse gases than today’s equivalents from 2015.
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