Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a global leader in transportation and logistics, said it is further exploring the viability of hydrogen and fuels derived from it as a possible fuel source for the future for container shipping, and is increasingly pioneering the use of biofuels within its existing fleet.
Speaking on 5 October at the inaugural Maritime Transport Efficiency Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where MSC is headquartered, Bud Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs at MSC Group, outlined some preferred options in a keynote speech on decarbonization and during a panel discussion on fuels for the future.
There’s no one single solution to decarbonize shipping; we need a range of alternative fuels at scale and we need them urgently. The future of shipping and decarbonisation will rely on strong partnerships from both the perspective of technology collaboration and procurement.—Bud Darr
In support of the UN International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) policy goals to decarbonize shipping, MSC is actively exploring and trialing a range of alternative fuels and technologies and is already actively bunkering biofuels at scale.
Fossil-sourced LNG remains a transitional option, while carbon capture and storage, if perfected for marine use, could be useful, Bud told the conference.
Industry partnerships could help accelerate the development of clean hydrogen for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry. Despite some significant challenges to overcome mainly related to density, volume and safe handling, MSC is in favor of further R&D efforts to produce it in a greenhouse-gas-neutral way and to develop it at scale, along with other fuels that may derive from it.
MSC is also pioneering the large-scale usage of biofuel blends for container ships and is already bunkering responsibly-sourced, up to 30% biofuel blends on a routine basis in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the world’s largest class of container ships, MSC’s Gülsün Class, was fitted at delivery in 2019-20 with the option to convert in future to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a potential bridging fuel as part of the industry’s transition towards a zero-carbon future.
MSC contributes actively to the work of industry groups and associations and supports their proposal to the IMO to create a new R&D fund to support GHG reduction in the maritime sector.
MSC believes there must be a massive injection of energy and capital into R&D efforts to bring alternative fuels and alternative propulsion technologies to the marketplace to deploy and decarbonize in the longer term.
Present in 155 countries, MSC facilitates international trade between the world’s major economies, and among emerging markets across all continents.