World’s Largest, Most Energy-Efficient Ship Completes Maiden Voyage

by | Jul 31, 2013

Maersk LineThe first of Mærsk Line’s new fleet of energy efficient Triple-E class cargo ships, the largest ship in the world, has completed its maiden voyage.

The 400 meter-long Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, which is named after the company’s late owner, set sail from Busan, South Korea in the middle of July. The vessel made its maiden call at Shanghai Yangshan port on July 19.

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller and the other 19 Triple-E vessels on order from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard in Okpo, South Korea, set new standards in the container industry, not just for size, but also for energy efficiency and environmental performance, Mærsk Line says.

With design features for slower speeds and maximum efficiency, this vessel will emit 50 percent less CO2 per container moved than the current average on the Asia-Europe route, according to the company.

One major reason for its superior efficiency is what is happening in the Triple-E’s engine room. The Triple-E is designed for a top speed of 23 knots, compared to Emma Mærsk’s top speed of 25 knots.

That tiny difference in maximum speed lowers the power output needed from the engine by 19 percent, which allows for slower revolutions in its engines and far greater fuel economy, Mærsk Line says.

The 20 Triple-E vessels will be phased in gradually over the next couple of years on the existing route between Asia and Northern Europe.

The launch of the Triple-E fleet comes as the global head of transport at Dutch bank ABN-Amro has called for shipping lines to be greener as a means of addressing a financing issues.

Gust Biesbroek says that banks are retreating from the shipping business, leaving a “gaping hole” in the industry’s financial structure. The hole is being filled by capital markets, private equity and other private investors, and such investors have a greater emphasis on transparency as well as environmental performance, GreenWise reports.

In January, Mærsk Line reached its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 25 percent from 2007 levels — eight years early. As a result, the shipping company increased its 2020 goal to a 40 percent reduction.

Photo Credit: Mærsk Line

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