Maersk issues inaugural green bond to fund green methanol vessels

The landmark green bond will accelerate the transition to green energy for shipping.

AP Moller – Maersk (Maersk), the global integrator of container logistics, has launched a 10-year, €500m inaugural green bond to accelerate the  transition to green energy for shipping.

The transaction received strong interest from the investor community with a final orderbook of €3.7bn and a coupon of 0.75%, the lowest annual interest ever achieved by Maersk. The bond is the first to be issued under Maersk’s newly established Green Financing Framework, which aligns the company’s funding strategy with its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050. Cicero Green was appointed to verify the framework’s alignment with the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2021 and the Green Loan Principles 2021 and based on an overall assessment received a Cicero Medium Green shading and a governance score of Excellent.

Proceeds of the offering will be used to finance Maersk’s first feeder vessel to be deployed in 2023, as well as a landmark series of eight ocean-going container vessels, all capable of operating on carbon-neutral methanol by 2024. Maersk aims to fuel the ships with green methanol from the start of each vessel’s operations, or as soon as possible thereafter. The framework also includes expenditures for dual-fuel ship retrofits, low-carbon land transportation, and green logistics centers.  

Maersk is the first in the industry to commission low-carbon ships at scale, representing an important and innovative step towards decarbonising the container shipping sector. Maersk expects that its strategy will incentivise the scaling of green methanol supply, a key barrier to its wider uptake, and issuances under the framework will finance investments supporting this aim.

BNP Paribas acted as Joint Green Structuring Advisor and Joint Active Bookrunner on the transaction.

Patrick Jany, CFO at A.P. Moller – Maersk, commented: “Issuing Green Financing Instruments is a further step to integrating sustainability into our financing operations as it is an effective tool for channelling investments to projects with positive environmental impact and thereby contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. With this green bond, we aim at diversifying our investor base by reaching out to new investors and increasing the transparency of our ESG ambitions and performance even further towards our stakeholders.”

Elias Selbing Burell, Director, Northern Europe DCM, BNP Paribas said: “Maersk is seeing a growing focus from its clients to reduce their Scope 3 emissions of which the decarbonisation of the end-to-end logistics value chain is an important element. With this Green Financing Framework and subsequent issuance, Maersk is tackling the issue head-on by investing in ground-breaking technology and new vessels able to run on carbon-neutral fuel as a major first step to enable full decarbonisation of its fleet. BNP Paribas is delighted to support Maersk on this landmark transaction. ”

BNP Paribas recognised for sustainable bond expertise

In 2021, BNP Paribas was recognised by leading sustainability publication Environmental Finance in several Bond Award categories, with the magazine applauding how the bank has embedded its sustainability experts into its issuance team and practices extensive outreach with investors”.

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