AP Moller-Maersk’s order for up to 12 methanol-fuelled neo-panamax containerships worth $2.1bn in a move that may blaze a trail for others to follow.

The Danish giant is paying around $175m for each of the 16,000-teu vessels, said Ole Graa Jakobsen, Maersk’s head of fleet technology.

That amounts to a premium of between $17.5m and $26.25m over the cost of conventional fuelled vessels.

Total cost to order eight containerships is $1.4bn, excluding options for four additional vessels for delivery in 2025, which is 10% to 15% more than ships fuelled by low-sulphur fuel.