The world’s largest shipping firm is putting $1.4 billion into sustainable engines.

Quartz reports on a major move toward a cleaner, carbon-neutral future:

The ships will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and are due to be delivered by 2024, each at a price tag of $175 million, 10%-15% above the average price for the ships used by the company. Their engines will run on e-methanol sourced from the Danish startup REintegrate, a purportedly carbon-neutral fuel that is made by producing hydrogen through electrolysis, using electricity from a solar farm, then combining that with CO2 recycled from biogas plants. The resulting fuel is carbon-neutral (traditional biofuels for ships, by comparison, emit about 70% less carbon than traditional heavy fuel oil). Maersk expects that running eight ships on these fuels will reduce the company’s annual carbon footprint by about 3%.

Maersk’s head of decarbonization Morten Bo Christiansen told Reuters that the order comes because of customer pressure. More than half of the company’s 200 biggest customers have set climate targets that require them to look for low-carbon shipping options in the coming years.

Maersk may struggle to source enough carbon-free fuel. Global production capacity for e-methanol remains limited to just a few plants in the Netherlands, Canada, and Iceland, a tiny fraction of what would be needed to supply the entire shipping fleet. To hedge against supply shortages, Maersk’s new ships will have the ability to run on traditional heavy fuel as well. Previous initiatives by the company to source fuel made from recycled cooking oil quickly ran into supply constraints.

[via The Hustle]