Decarbonised supply chains ‘a thing of the present’ – APM Terminals CEO Svendsen

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Decarbonised ports, as well as ships are proof that the supply chain transformation is happening here and now, says APM Terminals’ CEO Keith Svendsen.

APM Terminals is already sourcing some 40% of all the electricity it consumes globally from renewable sources – a nearly four-fold increase from 11% in 2020.

One of the company’s three breakthrough objectives, decarbonisation will be achieved by 2040 through electrification, energy optimisation, and sourcing of 100% renewable electricity such as solar energy, he confirmed.

Svendsen was speaking at an event to mark the first call of the world’s first methanol-powered container ship at APM Terminals’ Maasvlakte II in Rotterdam. Compared with conventionally powered container ships, Laura reduces emissions by 65%.

The arrival of the Laura Maersk was “another good example of purpose in action,” said Svendsen. The vessel is “a game changer” in the decarbonisation efforts of the shipping and port logistics industry, he said.

The 172-metre-long vessel was named last week by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a ceremony in Copenhagen, attended by Svendsen, and APM Terminals’ Head of Decarbonisation, Sahar Rashidbeigi.

Applauding the speed at which the Laura Maersk was developed – at around seven years ahead of estimations made as recently as five years ago – Svendsen said the key to her fast delivery lay in partnership.

As such, he called on APM Terminals’ partners – the governments, regulators, customers, vendors, and suppliers – to “act now – fast and together” to accelerate and scale decarbonisation and the energy transition to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions holistically in the transport chain.”

APM Terminals has committed to fully decarbonising its terminal operations by 2040, the advancement on its initial finishing line by 10 years.

Speaking on the quay alongside the Laura Maersk, he said the ship marks a crucial first step for the shipping sector and supply chains. Capable of carrying 2,136 TEU the Laura Maersk is a relatively small – yet symbolic – ship, said Svendsen.

More than 100 vessels of all types with methanol engines are in global orderbooks, however. Svendsen said: “We expect to see methanol fuelled ships from Maersk and other shipping lines here in Rotterdam. The faster we create a big market for green fuels, the better and cheaper availability will be.

“We are in times in which we will create an ecosystem that will collectively reduce emissions from shipping and logistics much faster than we could have hoped,” he said.

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