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Zero carbon shipping research centre opens in Denmark

A group of leading industry companies has launched the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, a non-profit organisation aiming to reduce the shipping industry’s global carbon emissions by 2050.

The centre will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and among the founding companies there are two major shipping carriers, AP Møller – Mærsk and NYK Line.

ABS, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Siemens Energy are also participating in this initiative, which will receive a start-up donation of DKK400 million (US$60.25 million) from the AP Møller Foundation.

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center will work as an independent research centre, according to a statement, across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and regulatory authorities.

“A highly specialised, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonisation pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonising fuels and powering technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable transformation,” explained Maersk in an announcement.

The centre will be connected with Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, the father of Ane Uggla, the chairman of the board in the AP Møller Foundation, who finds it “very natural that my father’s name will be connected to the centre,” because he was “a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than seven decades and was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment.”

During the first two to three years the centre will recruit around 100 employees to the Copenhagen-based office and collaborate with new partners across the globe, according to the founding partners.

The involved companies have committed one-third of the required staff and the remaining two-thirds will be recruited independently. In addition to leadership and administration, the centre staff will include subject matter experts in energy, fuels and ship technology as well as regulatory affairs, finance and the global energy transition, according to a statement.

Søren Skou, the chief executive officer (CEO) of AP Møller – Mærsk, is the first confirmed member of a board of directors, which will define the strategic direction of the centre. “This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies,” he commented.

Furthermore, Bo Cerup-Simonsen will head the management board of the centre, as the CEO of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center. Bo Cerup-Simonsen, who holds a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark in Mechanical Engineering, naval architecture, stated, the centre “provides a solid platform for the entire eco-system to join forces, demonstrate new solutions and identify the next steps to make it happen.”

The founding firms will donate expert people resources and/or testing platforms to support the operations and they expect to attract several more partner companies in the future.

Antonis Karamalegkos

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