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Shipping Fleet ‘to Cut Emissions in Half’

Danish shipping company Maersk Line plans to build a fleet of container ships that it calls the world’s largest and most energy efficient.

The Triple E fleet will emit 50 percent less emissions compared to the industry average for vessels operating on the Asia-Europe route, Maersk said. This will come out to CO2 savings of about 2.5 tonnes per container on a oneway trip between Shanghai and Rotterdam.

The line will emit 20 percent less emissions per container moved than the Emma Maersk, currently the world’s largest shipping vessel, Maersk said.

The fleet will also use 35 percent less fuel per container than thousands of ships being delivered to Maersk Line competitors in the next two years, the company said.

Maersk’s new line will achieve the reductions through smaller engines and use of a waste heat recovery system, as well as through economy of scale.

The new ship’s cargo capacity will be 18,000 containers, 16 percent more than that of the Emma Maersk. The Triple-E is 400 meters long, 59 meters wide and 73 meters high.

The Triple E will have a 65-70 MW engine, compared to the Emma Maersk’s 80 MW, achieving an eight percent cut in energy consumption.

The ships use a waste heat recovery system that further reduces fuel consumption by nine percent.

Maersk says the fleet helps it towards its goal of reducing CO2 emissions per container by 25 percent by 2020, from a 2007 baseline.

The Triple-E also derives efficiency from its innovative design, Maersk said, including two “ultra-long stroke” engines and specially optimised hull and bow.

Maersk has signed a contract with Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. to build ten of the vessels, at a price of $190 million each, with an option for an additional 20. Delivery is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2015.

“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. It is not only a top priority for us, but also for our customers, who depend on us in their supply chain, and also for a growing number of consumers who base their purchasing decisions on this type of information,” says Eivind Kolding, CEO of Maersk Line.

The company said that all materials used to build the new class will be documented and mapped in a “cradle-to-cradle passport”. When the vessel is retired from service, Maersk will be able to dispose of all its materials through reuse, recycling or other safe methods, the company said.

Maersk is a member of Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Shipping Initiative.

Maersk Line claims that it is the first shipping company to receive independent verification of its CO2 emissions data, vessel by vessel, which it supplies to customers.

Last year Maersk said it had cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an equal amount, by cutting the top cruising speed of its ships in half over two years.

Videos of the new fleet are available here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maerskcom.

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