Maersk Supply Service, a subsidiary of Danish shipping giant Maersk, is launching Stillstrom – an offshore vessel-charging venture to support the decarbonization of the maritime industry by eliminating idle emissions. 


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Maersk’s offshore charging venture

Stillstrom will deliver offshore electric charging solutions to vessels at ports, hubs, and offshore energy operations.

Offshore charging for idle vessels is critical to facilitating the decarbonization of the maritime industry, since it allows vessel owners to replace fossil fuels with electricity while moored to a charging buoy (image above). 

Stillstrom and Danish wind giant Ørsted will demonstrate the world’s first full-scale offshore charging station for vessels at an offshore wind farm in third quarter 2022. Stillstrom’s power buoy will supply overnight power to one of Ørsted’s Service Operations Vessels (SOV). Ørsted will be responsible for the grid integration of the charging buoy. 

Ørsted will publicly share the intellectual property generated during the design of the buoy’s integration into the offshore wind farm in order to encourage uptake of the charging buoy in the offshore wind sector.

The charging buoy will be large enough to charge an SOV-sized battery- or hybrid-electric vessel. It will be scaled and adapted to supply power to larger vessels, enabling vessels of all sizes to turn off their engines when lying idle.

By substituting fossil fuels with clean electricity, virtually all emissions and noise pollution are eliminated while the buoy is in use.

Sebastian Klasterer Toft, venture program manager at Maersk Supply Service, said:

The mission is to remove 5.5 million tons of CO2 within five years of commercial rollout, additionally eliminating particulate matter, [nitrogen oxides] and [sulfur oxides].

Dirty shipping

This announcement is welcome news, as climate pollution from the booming international shipping sector rose by nearly 5% last year, according to a new report from shipbroker Simpson Spence & Young.

Bloomberg reported that ocean-freight carriers pulled in estimated profits of $150 billion in 2021 — a nine-fold annual jump after a decade.

International shipping currently accounts for around 3% of global climate pollution. To put that in perspective, it’s more than all coal-fired power plants in the United States combined, and more than the emissions of Germany

Dawny’all Heydari, campaign lead of the Ship It Zero Campaign at Pacific Environment, said:

Now is the perfect time for international ocean shipping companies to invest their record profits into a horizon of hope for our shared future on this planet.

Carriers CMA-CGM, MSc, Cosco, Evergreen, and Yang Ming must commit to a 100% zero-emissions supply chain this decade, following initial leadership by Maersk. Their top big retail customers, Walmart and Target, must urge this speedy transition.

Black and brown frontline communities are bearing the brunt of fossil-fuel spewing ocean cargo ships and the problem is only getting more severe with each passing day. It’s about time that the shipping sector takes its responsibility seriously and stops hurting our port cities and oceans in the name of profits.

Read more: World’s biggest container liner first to order large carbon-neutral vessels

Photo: Maersk

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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.