Maersk Supply Service project managed and executed the tow and installation of The Ocean Cleanup’s System 001, and continues to utilise its marine experience to optimise offshore operations on location at the GPGP.

System 001 is a 600m-long floating array with screen designed to collect floating plastic
debris for recycling. The project began with a two-week trial, before transport to the
installation location at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,200 NM from San Francisco.
Being the first time such a system is launched, the project presents a number of
challenges to be addressed during the planning, engineering, and finally, operational
stages. For example, during the tow, Maersk Launcher could not exceed a speed of 3.5
knots due to the delicacy of the system compared to an average of 8 knots during
traditional offshore energy-related towing operations.

Project Details

The Ocean Cleanup

Tow, installation and monitoring of ocean cleaning system

Great Pacific Garbage Patch


From 2018 to 2019

Project management
Project engineering
HSE advisory
Marine operations

Zero Lost Time Incidents

Plastic pollution on the rise

Global plastic production has risen steadily since 1950 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.4%. As a result, an estimated over five trillion pieces of plastic now litter all major ocean basins. System 001 is situated at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where it aims to recover some of the 80,000 tonnes of plastic debris located there.

Committed to our oceans

The installation of the first offshore cleaning system has been carried out as a partnership between The Ocean Cleanup and Maersk Supply Service. As a responsible maritime operator, Maersk Supply Service is committed to ensuring that the oceans remain a healthy environment for generations to come.

Backed by 50 years of marine experience

Large towing operations have been a key part of Maersk Supply Service’s operations for the last 50 years. The tow and installation of System 001 is another example of how our vessels, marine experience and project management capabilities can be applied to support new industries.

Towing Operations

  • Tow of System 001

  • Monitoring

  • Inspections and adjustment

Safety Management

  • Project safety procedures

  • Project safety planning

  • HSE advisory

  • Emergency

Offshore Testing

  • Environmental baselining

  • Near shore test

  • Drift tests

  • Deep water sampling for plastic

  • Surface monitoring by drone

  • Closing procedure test of system

  • Mammal monitoring and baselining by means of passive acoustic monitoring bouys

  • Autonaut tests (unmanned monitoring vessel)

  • System behavior monitoring

  • Sampling of collected plastic

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