The billionaire family behind AP Moller-Maersk is forming a new company that will produce green methanol in a bid to help cut emissions from the shipping industry, a giant 1 billion tonnes a year emitter.

Danish A.P. Moller Holding, the parent company of A.P. Moller Group which consists of A.P. Moller – Maersk, Unilabs, Danske Bank, Faerch, Noble, KK Wind Solutions, Maersk Supply Service, Nissens Cooling Solutions, Maersk Tankers, A.P. Moller Capital, Innargi, ZeroNorth and C2X, said on Thursday they have formed a new green methanol venture to produce green methanol.

Known as C2X, the new venture is an independent company aimed to build, own, and operate assets to produce green methanol at scale.

C2X is majority owned by A.P. Moller Holding with A.P. Moller – Maersk as a 20% shareholder minority owner.

The top management of A.P. Moller Holding said today there is a pressing environmental requirement to scale the production of green methanol.

“C2X was founded to enable the energy transition in several hard to abate industries, including plastics, glues, textiles, and fuels. I am delighted to see the talented team, who has joined C2X, and the strong interest from partners and prospective customers to support the venture’s important purpose and development,” notes Robert M. Uggla, chief executive of A.P. Moller Holding.

The shipping giant has set up a start-up, to be called C2X, to produce green methanol in an attempt to increase supply of the fuel the Danish group views as essential to decarbonise the pillar of global trade.

Today A.P. Moller – Maersk in a live ceremony is naming its 2,100 teu green methanol container vessel.

The company describes the ceremony as a day “for the history books,” when President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will formally name the new vessel.

The Danish giant believes that the methanol used today is almost exclusively made from fossil fuel sources, with natural gas and coal being the most common feedstocks, and this can be directly replaced by new supplies of green methanol made from e-methanol, based on renewable energy, or bio methanol from agricultural and forestry crops and waste.

“Based on new engine technology, green methanol can also be used as fuel to reduce fossil emissions in hard-to-abate industries such as long-distance shipping”, it is noted.

It is worth mentioning that the A.P. Moller Group is controlled by the A.P. Moller Foundation, chaired by the Mærsk family.