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Billionaire owners of world's largest shipping company make unexpected business pivot — here's what they're trying to do next

If Maersk's C2X becomes a market leader, it could be extremely lucrative.

If Maersk’s C2X becomes a market leader, it could be extremely lucrative.

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In order to reduce the polluting impact their shipping business has on the planet, the billionaire owners of Maersk are turning to the production of an alternative fuel source for their needs.

The family ownership of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has formed a new company to produce green methanol for its shipping activity — and later to potentially supply fuel for other businesses looking to move away from dirty fuel, according to Reuters.

Known as C2X, the new operation will help Maersk achieve the shipping industry's target of producing net-zero pollution by 2050, the news outlet reports.

The World Economic Forum says green methanol is produced from low-carbon sources such as biomass or carbon capture. Maersk has ordered 25 container vessels that can run on green methanol alone, with the first arriving in July 2023, per Reuters.

As the outlet observed, the alternative fuel can reduce planet-warming carbon pollution by as much as 95% when compared to conventional dirty-energy-powered vessels.

According to Bloomberg, the C2X's facility is expected to be able to produce 3 million tons of green methanol by the end of the decade. 

The International Maritime Organization said global maritime transport accounted for the equivalent of 1,076 million metric tons (1,186 million tons) of carbon pollution in 2018, or about 2.9% of global human-caused heat-trapping pollution. The IMO also predicted in 2020 that the industry's pollution levels could increase by 130% by 2050 (over 2008 levels).  

Meanwhile, Bloomberg observed that Maersk alone emits 0.1% of the world's planet-warming carbon pollution from human activity.

In addition to cleaning up its operations, Maersk might be getting into the green methanol game pretty much at the ground floor. Bloomberg reported that Maersk's parent company, APMH, estimates that global demand for methanol could triple by 2050, with as much as 300 million tons required annually.

If Maersk's C2X becomes a market leader in the production and distribution of green methanol, it could be extremely lucrative, in addition to being a welcome boost for the environment. 

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