Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, has accepted to be named godmother of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s new container vessel sailing on green methanol.

Danish A.P. Moller Maersk shipping giant said Ursula von der Leyen will formally name the vessel at a ceremony in Copenhagen on September 14, where it arrives on its maiden voyage, before heading to its regular operational route in the Baltic Sea.

The 2,100 teu danish-flagged 172-meter-long container vessel will stay in the Toldboden area of the Copenhagen harbor for about a week, and be the focal point of several events and activities related to the shipping industry’s effort to decarbonise.

Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk said “Just a few years ago, this iconic ship was merely a vision. Now, it is a reality, and we are honored that Ursula von der Leyen has agreed to be its godmother. The European Commission, and especially its President, have been instrumental in steering the European continent towards an ambitious, green future. Our new vessel serves as a concrete example of the transformations that EU policies are supporting. This truly is the embodiment of the green deal in action.”

The shipping giant is taking a number of proactive steps to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet and becoming net-zero emission by 2040, as it aims to transport a minimum of 25% of Ocean cargo using green fuels by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline.

Image: Ursula von der Leyen

The Danish company prepares to receive a fleet of new, large ocean-going methanol engine powered ships from 2024, and considers this feeder vessel as a major step toward the long-term objective of gradually renewing the entire fleet to operate solely on green fuels.