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Maersk to pilot battery system on vessel to improve power production

London — Danish container line Maersk will install a battery on board one of its vessels in December and trial it to improve vessel performance and reduce carbon emissions, the company said in a press release.

"This trial [of the 600 kWh marine battery system] will provide a greater understanding of energy storage that will support Maersk in moving towards further electrification of its fleet and port terminals," Soren Toft, Maersk COO, said in the press release. "Maersk will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on our journey to become carbon neutral by 2050."

Propelling marine vessels with battery power alone is still years away from being a technologically and financially viable option, Maersk said.

However marine battery systems can be used to improve the efficiency of a vessel's on-board electrical systems such as generators and thus reduce fuel consumption, the company added.

The UN's International Maritime Organization has set targets that include a 50% cut in the shipping sector's greenhouse emissions by 2050, compared with 2008. The International Chamber of Shipping said in February this can only be met by developing carbon-free technology for the industry.

The vessel, the Maersk Cape Town, is a Singapore-flagged 249-meter long container ship built in 2011 which sails between West Africa and East Asia.

The first full voyage with the new system in place will take place next year and will be closely monitored to evaluate the performance of the system against the trial's ambitions, Maersk said.

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