A distinctive methanol-fueled container ship called the Laura Maersk

written by

Nick Blinky

Laura Maersk was named godmother by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (centre) at a dockside ceremony in Copenhagen.

Well, now we know the name. Maersk chose a name steeped in company tradition for its first methanol-fueled container ship: Laura Maersk. The name was revealed when the ship’s godmother, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, christened the ship by breaking a champagne bottle over its bow at a ceremony in Copenhagen. Other speakers at the ceremony included Maersk Chairman Robert Uggla and Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc.

Laura Maersk It is a historical landmark for shipping around the world. It demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit that has characterized Maersk since the company’s founding. However, more importantly, this ship is very real proof that when we come together as an industry through diligent efforts and partnerships, a tangible and optimistic path towards a sustainable future emerges. “This new green ship is the breakthrough we needed, but we still have a long way to go before we get to zero,” said Clerk.

Lura It is a name deeply rooted in some of Maersk’s early innovative milestones. When Captain Peter Maersk-Müller bought his first steamship in 1886, he named it Lura. With its steam engine, Lura It was a product of the Second Industrial Revolution, making its impact on the shipping industry significant. Lura She was also the first ship to carry the white seven-pointed star on a light blue background which later became the logo of A.P. Moller–Maersk.

Maersk has an ambitious 2040 target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and aims to move at least 25% of ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030. The 2,100 TEU (20-foot equivalent) Laura Maersk feeder ship is ) is an important step towards the long-term goal of gradually renewing the entire Maersk fleet to run solely on green fuel. Maersk has an additional 24 methanol vessels on order for delivery between 2024 and 2027 and a policy of ordering only new owned vessels that come with a green fuel option.

The industry is reconsidering fuel options

Maersk’s decision to choose methanol, particularly green methanol, has led to an industry-wide rethink about its best options for bridging the fuel gap that will take it to true carbon-neutral fuels like ammonia. This debate is still ongoing, as methanol gains steady momentum and the green methanol supply pipeline begins to open up.

Ship facts

In the meantime, here are some facts about Laura Maersk.

It was built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. Shipbuilding contract and specifications concluded in June 2021, delivery on 10 July 2023.

Flag and class: Danish flag, ABS class

to set:

  • Length: 172 meters
    Width (molded): 32.2 metres
    Speed: 17.4 knots
    The ship is designed to navigate sea ice up to 1 meter thick in the Baltic Sea
    Deadweight: 32,614 tons at Scantling draft of 11.0 metres.
    Light weight: 10,598 tons, equivalent to 5,300 Tesla Model Y cars
  • Fun fact: The ship can load about 5,000 African elephants.

Container capacity

  • 2,136 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent), or 398 RFEU (forty-foot equivalent)
  • On deck: 1,310 TEU (13 rows/7 layers)
  • On hold: 826 TEU (11 rows/6 layers)

Fun fact: If you lined up 2,100 twenty-foot equivalent containers, the line would be 13 kilometers long – the equivalent of 124 football fields, or nearly twice the length of the Øresund Bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden.

Inside the ship

  • 28 cabins in total
  • Living quarters, entertainment room and work room
  • Dining room, work clutter, kitchen, supply stores
  • Ship control center and fire station
  • Fitness room, medical treatment room and laundry room
  • 2 changing rooms


  • Main engine: HYUNDAI – MAN B&W 6G50ME-C9.6-LGIM-HPSCR, 10,320 kW
  • Auxiliary engines: 2x HiMSEN H32DF-LM, 3000 kW with 2820 kW alternator; 1x HiMSEN 6H21M, 1320 kW with 1240 kW generator
  • Methanol fuel capacity: 1400 m3 (two longitudinally divided tanks) located forward of the engine room bulkhead
  • The ship can sail up to 6,000 nautical miles on green methanol, equivalent to 10,800 km (1 nautical mile = 1.8 km).
  • The engine is dual-fuel, meaning it can run on methanol as well as conventional marine fuel. The same applies to auxiliary motors.

Fun fact: Utility motors can provide electricity to 38,000 homes.

Green Fact: The ship runs on methanol and saves up to 100 tons of CO2 per day compared to a sister ship sailing on heavy fuel oil


Methanol Fact: Methanol consumption is approximately twice that of conventional fuel due to its lower energy density.


  • The vessel will be commissioned by the beginning of October
  • Trade corridor: Bremerhaven – Kiel Canal – Helsingborg – Halmstad – Fredericia – Kalundborg – Kiel Canal – Bremerhaven
  • Fueling: The ship will be stationed in Rotterdam every five weeks until the fueling station in Aabenra is ready.
  • Fuel suppliers: OCI, Equinor, European Energy

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