Danish container shipping firm AP Moller-Maersk and China Classification Society (CCS) have entered into three different cooperation framework agreements to facilitate decarbonisation efforts.

Initially, the three agreements will be valid for two years.

The partners will concentrate on scientific and technological innovation projects, designs for carbon-neutral ships, and life-cycle availability and infrastructure for green fuels.

In order to create a joint force for the project, they will also extend the agreements to other research institutes.

Maersk China managing director Jens Eskelund said: “Maersk has set a clear and ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. China, as a globally leading maritime and shipbuilding nation, will be a crucial partner towards ensuring that our industry will be able to respond effectively to the climate change challenge.

“We are very pleased to join hands with CCS to collaborate on carbon-neutral technologies and standards and explore the opportunities for international cooperation within sustainable and zero-carbon shipping.”

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To decarbonise its marine operations, the company last month announced plans to introduce the first in a series of eight large ocean-going container ships that will run on carbon-neutral methanol in the first quarter of 2024.

With an average capacity of approximately 16,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), these ships will be constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The agreement with HHI included the option for four extra vessels in 2025.

Earlier this month, the American Bureau of Shipping announced that these eight large container vessels will be built to its class.

CCS chairman and president Mo Jianhui said: “Maersk is already a front runner in energy efficiency and decarbonisation. By joining hands with Maersk, I believe we can develop the right set of standards, rules, and technical solutions for the benefit of the whole industry.

“We believe that open-minded discussions and trusted partnerships are key to make that happen, which will also contribute to China’s ambition of realising the pledge of reaching peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060.”