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Maersk devising innovative fresh water solution

Through the innovative solution, each vessel can fill two tank containers on average between two ports. (Image source: Maersk)

A.P. Moller – Maersk, an integrated logistics company working to connect and simplify customer supply chains, is undertaking a project to store and deliver fresh water from vessels to ports

A team of three Maersk employees have sought to play their part in the struggle against fresh water scarcity, an increasing problem being faced by regions across the world. As outlined by the company, cargo ships undertaking global trade are equipped with fresh water generator systems to produce clean drinking water by distilling sea water using heat energy harnessed from their engines. Traditionally, this has only been used to generate water for consumption onboard the vessel. The excess water produced is therefore an untapped resource which the team is seeking to exploit by optimising the process and storing it in tank containers before delivery to port.

“At Port of Salalah, sustainability is one of our top priorities and are committed to decarbonising our operations by 2040,” remarked Keld M Christensen, CEO, Port of Salalah. “We also recognise that sustainability is not only about decarbonising supply chains but also protecting our environment and its finite resources. The first tank container of fresh water delivered by Maersk from its vessel is an important milestone that has the potential to pave the path for a larger scheme of things. This project opens doors for many more ships moving around the world, which can replicate this system and create an incredibly large supply of fresh water that is being delivered all around the world to address the ever-increasing challenge of water scarcity.”

Improving access to clean drinking water

Through the innovative solution, each vessel can fill two tank containers on average between two ports, providing a combined capacity of 50,000 l of fresh water. Two pilot runs have already been undertaken, with the Port of Colombo and the Port of Salalah each receiving two tank containers of 25,000 l of fresh water.

Leonardo Sonzio, head of fleet management and technology Maersk, remarked, “The possibility to generate, store and deliver fresh water from our ships presents a unique opportunity to address water scarcity. The successful conclusion of the pilot deliveries is a testament to the innovative capabilities and perseverance of our team. The next step for us would be to explore the possibilities of expanding our efforts to more ports and collaborate with beneficiary stakeholders worldwide. Together, we could make a significant impact by improving the access to clean drinking water for communities in need, too.”

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