EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has named the world’s first container ship powered by green methanol. The ship owned by the Danish shipping company Maersk was given the name “Laura Maersk” in Copenhagen – the name is intended to be reminiscent of the first steamship, which captain Peter Maersk Møller called “Laura” at the end of the 19th century.

At a ceremony in the port of the Danish capital, godmother von der Leyen emphasized the importance of the new container ship beyond Europe. Pioneers like Maersk are shaping the economy of the future, said the Commission President. “This event is a big deal – not just for Europe, but for the whole world.”

She wished the ship and its crew a safe journey. “May your travels be smooth and your tasks successful as you navigate the waters of the world,” von der Leyen said. She then pressed a button, causing a champagne bottle to smash against the bow of the ship and reveal the name.

According to the shipping company, the 172 meter long “Laura Maersk” – spelled “Laura Mærsk” in the Danish original – is the first methanol-capable container ship in the world. Maersk commissioned it from a South Korean shipyard in 2021.

In total, the group, as one of the two industry giants alongside MSC, has ordered 25 methanol-capable ships to date. This is intended to save significant amounts of climate-damaging CO2. The international shipping industry is now responsible for around three percent of global CO2 emissions – this corresponds to more than the entire emissions of Germany.