For the past 150 years, LR has worked closely with Denmark’s innovative shipping, industrial and offshore industries, providing assurances of safety and quality, while contributing a wealth of technical experience. More recently, environmental initiatives have come to the fore.
Danish Shipping, the industry association for Denmark's shipowners, has adopted a decarbonisation strategy that aims to put its members in the lead of the maritime sector's energy transition. The proposal would see Danish shipping – including heavyweights like Maersk and Torm – achieve climate-neutral operations by 2050 without the use of carbon offsetting.
To kickstart that process, the association has called for at least 5% of the Danish-operated fleet have zero-emissions fuel capability by 2030 – and for all newbuilds ordered by Danish shipowners after that date to be designed to run on net zero-emission fuels (or other zero-emissions propulsion).
In October 2020, LR launched its dedicated Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, with Danish giant A.P. Møller – Maersk represented on its advisory panel in the form of Ole Graa Jakobsen, VP Head of Fleet Technology. The move followed completion, the same year, of a joint study by LR and Maersk on the various alternative fuel pathways to zero emissions available.
One of the fuels investigated in the joint study was methanol – later to be selected by Maersk to power a series of its large boxships – a solution LR was very familiar with having classed the world’s first ever methanol-powered sea vessel, Stena Germanica, in 2015.
LR, like Maersk, was also among founder members of the Getting to Zero Coalition, an initiative of the Global Maritime Forum (GMF), the international non-profit organisation dedicated to shaping a sustainable future for shipping that is based in Copenhagen. The GMF also launched the Poseidon Principles for responsible ship financing and insurance, as well as the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing, of which LR was a founder signatory.
In addition, LR is working with the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, again based in the Danish capital, in a project to develop guidance around the safe use of ammonia as a fuel.
150 years of innovation and collaboration
LR's involvement in Denmark began in 1872 when Thomas J. Sødring opened LR’s first office in Copenhagen, from which he also carried out survey work in southern Sweden. His initial major inspection was of the 9,000 grt steamship Rolf – also fitted with schooner-rigged sails in this time of cautious transition to steam propulsion – built at Burmeister & Wain (B&W), which entered LR class the same year.
LR’s activities in Denmark increased steadily as the output of Denmark’s shipyards grew in line with a doubling of world trade in the late 19th century. A network of non-exclusive surveyors around the country was gradually assembled, with two full-time surveyors appointed at the Copenhagen office by 1901. A landmark collaboration was on the first ocean-going dry cargo motorship in the world, Selandia, was built by B&W to LR class and delivered to the East Asiatic Company of Copenhagen in 1912.
LR’s work in Denmark continued to increase during and beyond the interwar period, as the national fleet steadily grew in size and importance. A Danish Committee – comprising leading local shipowners, shipbuilders and underwriters – was established in 1930, originally chaired by Consul-General Johan Hansen who was succeeded in that role 12 years later by legendary shipowner Mr A.P. Møller.
LR has worked extensively on the A.P. Møller – Maersk fleet, one of the world’s largest and most diverse, inspecting and providing technical advice on all kinds of vessels – including oil and gas tankers, reefers and containerships. To give just one example, the Odense Lindø yard built the first double-hulled VLCC tanker in the world, the 293,900 dwt Eleo Maersk, to LR class in 1993.
Today LR is authorised by the Danish Maritime Administration (DMA) to carry out a number of surveys on its behalf, from a number of offices around the country, including one in Esbjerg serving the oil and gas industry. LR's successful and longstanding cooperation with Danish shipping is set fair to continue for many years to come.