Maersk boxship to pioneer battery use

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 06 November 2019


Maersk line is to install a containerised battery system on its 2011-built, 4,500teu gear container ship Maersk Cape Town.

The battery system has a capacity of 600kWh, which is equivalent to six Tesla cars. Although it is a large battery housed in two containers it is not powerful enough to propel the ship but will be used to complement the auxiliary engines. With the battery installed the ship's auxiliaries can be run more optimally. The battery can also be used as an emergency power source.

Maersk battery
Image courtesy of

Charging of the battery is done during sailing using a waste heat recovery system.

“We look forward to seeing the potential of the pilot project. Both in relation to what the battery technology can have for the improvement of the performance of our ships and not least the reduction of fuel consumption that goes for purposes other than operating the propeller,” said fleet technology manager at Maersk Line, Ole Graa.

"We hope that the project will give us a greater knowledge of energy storage, which will enable us to further electrify our fleet," said COO and Executive Member of AP Møller - Maersk, Søren Toft.

The new container battery system was assembled in Odense and is now in Aarhus before sailing to Singapore. The Maersk Cape Town will be sailing from Asia to West Africa over the next 3-4 months, and after evaluating the trial Maersk will be deciding whether to extend it to more ships.

"It's a really exciting project, and we welcome all initiatives that contribute to lowering CO2 emissions," said Maria Skipper Schwenn, director of safety, environment and maritime research at Danish Shipping. “We are proud that several Danish shipping companies are at the forefront when it comes to developing solutions that will create a more CO2 neutral shipping. And this is just one of the many important initiatives that are in progress right now”.

The Journal

Published every February the journal is now recognised as the highest quality publication that covers all aspects of maritime technology and regulation and a must read for the industry.

More Details