AP Moller-Maersk is building the ships and hoping the carbon-neutral methanol infrastructure will come along with it.

In splashing out $2.1bn on as many as 12 methanol-fuelled boxships, the Danish containership giant is betting it can supercharge so-called green methanol production and build an entirely new fuel supply chain before the first ship is delivered in 2024.

Berit Hinnemann, head of decarbonisation business development at Maersk, said: "The technology is there, but the demand is not. With the announcement of the vessels, we are putting the demand there."