Maersk Supply Service, the offshore industry supply services division of Danish shipping leader Maersk, announced Tuesday that it is launching an offshore vessel charging venture to help reduce maritime emissions. The new venture is called Stillstrom, which means “quiet power” in Danish.
The product takes the form of a buoy to which vessels can moor, equipped with charging infrastructure. Vessels continue to consume energy while they idle overnight or during stops on their routes. This energy typically comes from fossil fuels. The charging buoys are an innovation that allows idling vessels to power themselves with electricity instead. The buoys are large enough to power a Service Operation Vessel–sized battery. Maersk plans to scale the buoys up to enable charging for larger vessels in the future.
Describing the project’s intent, Sebastian Klasterer Toft, Venture Programme Manager at Maersk Supply Service, stated:
“Our vision at Stillstrom is to enable maritime decarbonisation, by providing the infrastructure that will allow vessels to charge from clean energy when idle offshore. The mission is to remove 5.5 million tons of CO2 within five years of commercial rollout, additionally eliminating particulate matter, NOx, and SOx.”
Maersk will demonstrate the buoys along with its partner Ørsted, a Danish renewable energy company, in Q3 2022. The pilot buoy will supply overnight power to one of Ørsted’s Service Operations Vessels, supporting its target of climate-neutral operations in 2025. Ørsted intends to make publicly available any intellectual property it generates during the design of the buoy’s integration into offshore wind power plants to encourage the uptake of the buoys across the offshore wind sector.
Maersk aims to bring the buoys to vessels at ports, hubs and offshore energy operations around the world. Stillstrom manager Sebastian Klasterer said the goal is to install 3-10 buoys at up to 100 ports by 2028 to cut greenhouse gas emissions by five million tonnes a year while reducing air and noise pollution.
The joint venture was first announced in September 2020, with Jonas Munch Agerskov, Managing Director for Offshore Renewables at Maersk Supply Service, commenting:
“The charging buoy tackles a multitude of problems: lower emissions, offering a safe mooring point for vessels, better power efficiency and eliminating engine noise. This is also a solution that can be implemented on a global scale, and one that can be adapted as the maritime industry moves towards hybridisation and electrification.”
This project is part of Maersk’s larger effort to decarbonize the shipping industry. Last August, the company announced plans to acquire a carbon-neutral shipping fleet of eight large shipping vessels capable of running on green methanol.