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HD Hyundai leader vows to accelerate carbon-neutral transition

CEO Chung Ki-sun attends naming ceremony of world’s first methanol-fueled container ship

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Sept. 17, 2023 - 14:57

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HD Hyundai CEO Chung Ki-sun (right), EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (third from left) and Chair of A.P. Moller Maersk Roberk Maersk Uggla (second from right) pose for a photo inside the world's first methanol-fueled container ship, the Laura Maersk, after its naming ceremony in Copenhagen on Thursday. (Maersk) HD Hyundai CEO Chung Ki-sun (right), EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (third from left) and Chair of A.P. Moller Maersk Roberk Maersk Uggla (second from right) pose for a photo inside the world's first methanol-fueled container ship, the Laura Maersk, after its naming ceremony in Copenhagen on Thursday. (Maersk)

HD Hyundai CEO Chung Ki-sun has reaffirmed his willingness to speed up the transition to carbon neutrality while he attended the naming ceremony of the world’s first methanol-fueled container ship, the Laura Maersk, in Denmark on Thursday.

According to HD Hyundai, Chung met with Robert Maersk Uggla, chair of A.P. Moller Maersk -- one of the biggest shipping and logistics firms in the world -- to discuss how to strengthen their partnership in the future on the day before the naming ceremony.

“The Laura Maersk will surely be a significant milestone for carbon neutrality,” said Chung during the meeting. “Through the development of innovative and leading technologies, we will speed up the realization of a green ocean.”

Earlier in the same day, Chung also visited the research and development facilities of MAN Energy Solution to check up on the development of an ammonia-powered engine, a joint project with HD Hyundai.

The Laura Maersk container ship was built by HD Hyundai’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard as the first of the 19 methanol-fueled vessel orders requested from Maersk. Maersk laid out its plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and announced the introduction of methanol-fueled ships as a step towards that goal.

Chung joined Uggla and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the naming ceremony in Copenhagen. The name of the methanol-fueled containership came after the steamship that Maersk founder Peter Maersk Moller purchased in 1886. The slogan, “All the Way to Zero,” was painted on the Laura Maersk to signify the importance of carbon neutrality.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard completed building the methanol-fueled container ship and launched it into the water in April this year, about 21 months after the order was placed in July 2021. The delivery process for the ship began on July 10 this year. The 2,100 twenty-foot equivalent unit vessel sailed the length of 21,500 kilometers over the course of about two months to reach its destination.

The partnership between HD Hyundai and Maersk dates back to their first contract in 1987 when the Korean shipbuilder secured the order for a 254,000-ton oil tanker. According to HD Hyundai, the accumulated value of Maersk deals is about $11.3 billion, with 123 shipbuilding orders.

The world's first methanol-fueled container ship, the Laura Maersk (HD Hyundai) The world's first methanol-fueled container ship, the Laura Maersk (HD Hyundai)