Ocean Network Express (ONE)’s $20bn investment plan is being largely driven by the company’s green strategy, according to chief executive Jeremy Nixon.

The new vessels that will join ONE’s fleet between now and 2030 will help the company achieve its key objective of reducing its carbon emissions about 70% against the 2008 benchmark — and its ultimate goal is to get to net-zero carbon.

ONE, a founding partner of the Singapore-based Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and a participant in other industry green initiatives, is exploring different fuel types — hydrogen, methanol and ammonia — and learning which of these is going to be more suitable long term.

“The challenge we have today is that due to the large sizes of the ships, the long distances they’re working, and the need for very high energy efficiency, in terms of the fuel types, we don’t currently have sustainable large volumes of fuel that are green in the quantities that we need,” Nixon said.

ONE is also looking at ways to reduce the emissions of its existing fleet through carbon-capture technology and other ways of improving efficiencies.

“At this stage, I don’t think any particular shipping company is going to get trapped in being very definitive on one particular technology or one particular fuel type,” Nixon said. “We will continue to assess it year by year.

“We will look at the trading scope of the vessels concerned, and therefore what are the fuel types and bunkering facilities available in that location, and what will be the comparative price points of that as well?

“Each year, as we make that investment choice, we will look at the very latest technology and try to make sure that we make a decision that is right in the short, medium and long term.”

Nixon believes that the push towards more efficient ships will negate any overcapacity potential from the rafts of new container ships that are currently being ordered.

As environmental thresholds and regulations are tightened over the next decade, less-efficient ships will either have to be removed from service or slowed down, which he said will impact the supply side of the container ship industry.