Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk says a shortage of used cooking oil (UCO) is affecting its efforts to become carbon neutral, Bloomberg reported on 6 August.

“We can’t keep scaling it. If our growth rates continue, we will run out of cooking oil in one or two years,” AP Moller-Maersk CEO Soren Skou was quoted as saying.

Earlier this year the Copenhagen-based company pledged to cut its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and, despite the UCO shortage, Skou said it would no longer be ordering ships that run exclusively on fossil fuel, according to the report.

Prices for UCO were higher than for new cooking oil in Europe due to the high demand, the report said, but Skou said the company could not use the edible variant as it was categorised as food rather than biofuel.

AP Moller-Maersk currently consumed about 12M tonnes/year of marine oil, Bloomberg wrote. In its plan to go green, it was using biofuels and it also planned to use more low-emission ships running on green methanol going forward.

Earlier this year, the company ordered the world’s first container ship that did not emit carbon, the report said. The vessel, due for delivery in mid-2023, had dual-engine technology enabling it to sail on either carbon-neutral methanol or traditional very low sulphur fuel oil, Bloomberg wrote.

Saying there would be further investments, Skou said he was concerned about the supply of green methanol and called for a global effort to expand production capacity.

“The ship technology is not the limiting factor, but the availability of the green fuels is,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a new global energy system that needs to be built and that’s a massive challenge.”

Globally, about 90% of goods were transported by the shipping industry, with AP Moller-Maersk accounting for one fifth of that total, the report said.

The industry was responsible for roughly 2% of the world’s CO² emissions, Bloomberg wrote.

AP Moller-Maersk, which controls a fleet of more than 700 vessels, is an integrated container logistics company and operates in 130 countries.