Considering that shipping is responsible for 3% of global emissions, measures taken by steam shipping lines regarding decarbonization can actually make a difference. Having said that, we cannot simply rely on fossil fuels and alternative fuels must be found according to experts. It’s undeniable that we need act, and we need to act fast.
Steps Being Taken
As discussed earlier this week on More Than Shipping, Maersk sees bio-methanol as the only possible solution for emissions problem since bio-methanol is the only fuel ready in the market for now. They ordered 12 ships that are being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries. These vessels will be dual-fuel vessels, meaning they will be operating on methanol and low sulfur fuel. Maersk estimates that once these new vessels start operating, they will reduce their annual CO2 emissions by 1.5 million tons. On the other hand, finding all the methanol these vessels will require is some other challenge that must be solved by the Shipping giant Maersk. We know they are building partnerships with multiple suppliers to meet this demand.
MSC is looking for an alternative that doesn’t require any modifications on vessels of their fleet. And that is biofuel. MSC says biofuel is the only option for their ocean operations in this transition. MSC is also bringing their customer into the game. Available at selected world ports, MSC Biofuel Solution offers customers the opportunity to join forces with MSC to decarbonize their supply chains and achieve their climate targets. “Customers can also achieve a reduction in emissions in their supply chains by taking part in our carbon insetting program, MSC Biofuel Solution. We are continually improving the energy efficiency of our fleet, as well as collaborating with partners across the maritime ecosystem on research, trials and pilots to promote the wider adoption of low- and zero-carbon fuels of the future,” said Dimitri Ruggiero, Global Accounts Vice President.
Other Solutions Being Explored
Unlike MSC and Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd is not heavily investing in alternative fuels, but they are upgrading their fleet. Hapag-Lloyd has been developing a program called “The Fleet Upgrade Program” which essentially loading vessels with new propellers for energy efficiency. Hapag-Lloyd’s Ningbo Express has been chosen for this new propeller and it will be installed in September. Their goal is reducing fuel consumption by 10 to 13% and reducing emissions in a similar range. Throughout this program, 86 vessels will be equipped with these new propellers. The estimated investment to this program is in the hundreds of millions range.
So, while we often write about pies in the sky when it comes to reducing emissions in the shipping industry, there are sustainable steps being taken today for a better future. Over the coming years, the industry as a whole needs to see its carbon dioxide emissions lower if it wants to reach 2050 goals.