The world's first methanol-powered container ship now on weekly service to the Port of Gothenburg

20 May 2024

On Saturday, a new feeder service started calling regularly at the Port of Gothenburg. The world's first container ship powered by green methanol, Laura Maersk, operates the service sailing between the Port of Gothenburg and Bremerhaven.

“Already today, many of the customers importing and exporting via Gothenburg have chosen lower-emission ocean transport enabled by green fuels* and thereby reduced the greenhouse gas footprint in their supply chain. With the arrival of Laura Maersk on a weekly basis, we are now connecting Gothenburg to a green corridor in Northern Europe and giving Swedish-based customers direct access to the World’s first methanol-enabled container vessel,” says Birna Ödefors, Area Managing Director Nordics at A.P. Moller Maersk.

Laura Maersk is the first vessel in Maersk's major initiative to use renewable methanol as a ship fuel. The shipping company has an additional 20+ methanol-powered ships on order for delivery between 2024 and 2027.

"Laura Maersk is a true sustainable shipping mile stone and it is exciting to see her in service here at the Port of Gothenburg. Fundamentally, it's the increasingly ambitious transition goals of shipping companies that drive the development, with Maersk being one of the leading players in the field today," says Jacob Minnhagen, Senior Market Development Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

At the same time, freight buyers have – through their respective sustainability agendas – created a situation where environmental performance has become an increasingly important parameter in their choice of transport, according to Jacob Minnhagen.

"This benefits shipping companies that have been early adopters and are already engaged in the transition of their fleets today. They are also well-positioned for the international regulations that are becoming increasingly stringent in their requirements for those who want to be part of tomorrow's sustainable transport system," says Jacob Minnhagen.

Ports play a crucial role as enablers in the transition to sustainable shipping, and the Port of Gothenburg has been working systematically and long-term to create conditions and incentives. One key part is securing the supply of renewable fuels, and the port aims to become Scandinavia's largest hub for renewable energy. Renewable methanol is seen as a key component in the fuel mix.

In addition to Bremerhaven and the Port of Gothenburg, the new service calls at the ports in Helsingborg, Halmstad, and Kalundborg.

Laura Maersk during Saturday's call at the Port of Gothenburg.   Image: Gothenburg Port Authority.

About Laura Maersk:
Cargo Capacity: 2136 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units)
Length: 172 meters
Width: 32.2 meters
Draft: 11 meters
Maximum Speed: 17.4 knots

* Maersk defines green fuels as fuel with minimum 65% GHG savings on a lifecycle basis compared to fossil reference fuel.

Port of Gothenburg
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia. Around 20% of Swedish foreign trade and over 50% of all container traffic is handled in the Port of Gothenburg. The port is a full-service port, and offers industry guaranteed, climate-smart access to the whole world. Direct services to key markets ensure highly efficient, sustainable, and reliable transport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The focus is firmly on sustainability, innovation, and digitalisation in a concerted effort to maintain the ongoing development of climate-efficient freight transport and calls by vessels. With over 30 rail shuttles offering daily departures, companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, climate-neutral service to the Port of Gothenburg. The port handles energy products, vehicles, ro-ro units, containers and passengers. 22,000 people are employed at the port.

Port of Gothenburg press release