$60m Maersk donation to fund new maritime decarbonisation research centre

Maersk has announced that it is to make a $60 million donation to establish a new non-profit research centre dedicated to the development of technologies and support programmes to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions from shipping, based in Copenhagen in Denmark.

The A.P. Møller Foundation is donating DKK 400 million (approx. US$60 million) to the new Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent research centre that aims to work with stakeholders across the shipping sector, as well as with other industrial, academic and regulatory authorities.

The new centre has already been backed by maritime heavyweights like ABS, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Siemens Energy.

“The founding partners and the A.P. Moller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonise the shipping industry. The establishment of the centre is a quantum leap towards realising that ambition,” said Søren Skou, Maersk CEO and a future member of the centre’s board of directors.

“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. I am looking forward to join the Board of this ambitious collaboration.”

Early activities will involve the creation of a specialised cross-disciplinary global team to create overviews of decarbonisation pathways and determine how the group can accelerate the development of selected decarbonising energies and technologies, as well as ways they can support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable the transformation of shipping.

“This is the early days of a demanding and necessary transformation of an entire industry. Thanks to the A.P. Moller Foundation and the support from industry-leading partners we now have a unique opportunity to unfold the potential of a sector-wide collaboration towards complete decarbonization,” said Centre CEO, Bo Cerup-Simonsen.

“The Center for Decarbonizing Shipping provides a solid platform for the entire eco-system to join forces, demonstrate new solutions and identify the next steps to make it happen. I’m excited to let the work begin, expanding the collaboration with a broad variety of contributors.”

During the first two to three years the centre will recruit around 100 employees to the Copenhagen-based office and work to build partnerships across the globe. The founding partners have committed one third of the needed staff, with the remaining two thirds to be recruited independently.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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