Maersk Pushes Shipping's Green Frontier

Cap and trade carbon dioxide if you like, but A.P. Moller-Maersk wants to ship it.

If the European Union gives its nod, the world's largest shipping line plans to transport CO2 in tankers to the North Sea and bury it deep in depleted oil and gas fields. It's part of a joint venture with two Finnish energy companies that could lead to a whole new line of business for Maersk.

CO2 already moves through pipelines, but Maersk officials say this would be the first attempt to ship CO2 aboard vessels. The goal is to capture, transport and store more than 1.2 million tons of the greenhouse gas per year, starting in 2015.

Here’s how the plan would work: Maersk and its partners, Teollisuuden Voima and Fortum, capture the CO2 at the Meri-Pori coal-fired power plant on Finland’s west coast, transport it on Maersk tankers through the Baltic to the North Sea, where it is injected into the depleted energy wells.

Maersk will also look into injecting CO2 into existing oil wells to enhance oil recovery — bringing that CO2 full cycle, in a way.

"Shipping CO2 in tanker vessels is a cost efficient and flexible way to get CO2 from power plants to offshore storage sites, which makes it a suitable solution for large CO2 emission sources such as coal-fired power plants,” said Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Tankers.

The project, announced today, would require EU approval and specialized ships. Maersk already has the blueprints. See this press release on Maersk's Web site for more detail.
Contact William B. Cassidy at

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