Fire after collision between ships in Danish strait

A container ship and a merchant ship collided in the Great Belt strait between the Danish islands of Funen and Zealand on Tuesday morning.

Fire after collision between ships in Danish strait
Photo: Forsvaret/handout/Ritzau Scanpix

The collision resulted in a brief fire on board one of the ships, the Danish military command (Forsvarets Operationscenter) confirmed.

No injuries or spills have resulted from the incident, on-duty commander Klaus Rasmussen told Ritzau.

“At 6:30am we were informed that two ships had collided north of Romsø. Fire broke out on one ship.

“Two containers fell from the container ship on to the merchant ship, and fire broke out in one of those containers,” Rasmussen added.

Both ships anchored after the collision.

“We will now get the situation under complete control. We must ensure they are seaworthy enough to move to another area,” Rasmussen added.

Both ships are reported to have sustained holes above their waterlines.

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Danish shipping giant calls for global carbon tax for shipping

Maersk, the world's largest shipping firm, on Wednesday called for a carbon tax on ship fuel to encourage the transition to cleaner alternatives.

Danish shipping giant calls for global carbon tax for shipping
The Maersk Batam container ship is loaded at the Port of Southampton. Photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP

The Danish firm proposed a tax of at least $450 per tonne of fuel, which works out to $150 per tonne of carbon.

Maersk CEO Soren Skou called the tax proposal “a levy to bridge the gap between the fossil fuels consumed by vessels today and greener alternatives that are currently more expensive.”

The call by Maersk for the fuel tax comes ahead of a meeting later this month of the International Maritime Organization, at which the UN body is due to consider how to reduce emissions from the shipping sector.

The sector is responsible for emitting 940 million tonnes of carbon per year, or about 2.5 percent of the global total, according to the European Commission, as most ships continue to use heavy fuel oil, one of the most polluting fuels.

Maersk would be hit by such a fuel tax as it is a major consumer of ship fuel, but the firm believes the IMO is not moving fast enough and wants to see additional measures to shift the industry towards cleaner options.

The firm, which currently has some 700 ships, has announced plans to launch in 2023 its first ship that will use biomethane or renewable natural gas as a fuel.

The company aims to become carbon neutral in 2050.