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Argus Media on Cop: Shipping industry updates decarbonisation pledges

Shipping industry participants have announced new or updated initiatives within the Green Shipping Challenge — aimed at lowering carbon emissions in shipping — at the Cop 28 UN climate summit.

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Shipping industry participants have announced new or updated initiatives within the Green Shipping Challenge — aimed at lowering carbon emissions in shipping — at the Cop 28 UN climate summit.

4 December 2023 

Participants included countries, ports and private companies, presenting national plans for decarbonisation, green corridors, and investments in themselves or others. Few initiatives had moved from the planning stage or developed far beyond updates at Cop 27 in 2022 — which lacked clarity at the time. Many green shipping corridors — which formed a large part of proposals at Cop 26 — remain in their infancy. The Green Shipping Challenge was launched at the Cop 27 UN climate summit, in response to calls to action issued by the US and Norway in May 2022.

Several participants — Norway, the US, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and shipping company Maersk — pledged funds to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), or as investments in new technology or in developing countries. An IMO meeting in July saw a strong focus on a fair and equitable transition. France pledged €1.5bn ($1.62bn) of funding — a third from the government, a third from private companies and a third in bank leverage — to accelerate its maritime decarbonisation.

Cargo carrier Amazon requested zero-emissions fuelled shipping services for 600,000 20ft TEU containers for three years starting in 2025. Amazon is a member of the Zero-Emissions Maritime Buyers Alliance, which seeks to start the use, supply and infrastructure of zero-emissions technologies.

Updated and new initiatives included promising developments of alternative fuels and their vessels, as well as the uptake of clean energy maritime hubs. Iron miner Fortescue unveiled a vessel — the Fortescue Green Pioneer — which runs on an ammonia fuel-blend and emits 90pc less than it would on conventional fuels. Norwegian shipping company Hoegh Autoliners pledged $1.2bn to build 12 net-zero ammonia-ready car carriers, with the first to be delivered in July 2024.

By Anya Fielding

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 5 December, 2023

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Methanol

Methanol Institute: Breakthroughs and Strategic Moves in Sustainable Marine Fuels (Week 23, 3-9 June 2024)

This week, the maritime industry made pivotal advancements in methanol fuel technology, forged strategic partnerships, and achieved key regulatory milestones, highlighting a concerted effort toward greener marine operations.

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The Methanol Institute, provides an exclusive weekly commentary on developments related to the adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel, including significant related events recorded during the week, for the readers of bunkering publication Manifold Times:

More heavy hitters are getting behind the supply of methanol to marine customers as the demand for newbuildings continues to strengthen.

The ramp-up in biofuels provided by energy major ExxonMobil are expected to support the industry’s decarbonization process as owners place further orders, vessels hit the water and new bunkering operations are planned.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 23 of 2024:

ExxonMobil Expands Marine Biofuels Offering for Shipping Industry
Date: June 4th, 2024

Key Points: ExxonMobil is expanding its marine biofuels offering, actively engaging with multiple customers, including Hapag Lloyd and Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Recent deliveries from its Fawley refinery to several UK ports have demonstrated successful biofuel use without engine modifications. Biofuels are expected to play a significant role in the first phase of shipping's decarbonization, with a future shift towards methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen. ExxonMobil is exploring technologies and pathways to meet the industry's low-emission fuel needs.

DNV: Growing Demand for Methanol-Fueled Vessels Evident in May Newbuild Orders
Date: June 4th, 2024

Key Points: DNV's recent data shows a significant increase in orders for methanol-fueled vessels, with 23 out of 33 new orders in May being methanol-powered. This trend highlights the maritime industry’s growing appetite for methanol as a viable alternative fuel, driven by its lower emissions and alignment with decarbonization goals. Methanol's role is increasingly pivotal as the shipping sector seeks sustainable and compliant fuel options to meet future environmental regulations.

NKT Orders Methanol-Powered Cable-Laying Vessel
Date: June 5th, 2024

Key Points: NKT has ordered a 176-meter dual-fuel cable-laying vessel, the NKT Eleonora, capable of running on methanol, HVO, and MDO. Scheduled for operation in 2027, this vessel reflects NKT's commitment to sustainability and enhancing installation capacity. The decision to build a methanol-fueled vessel aligns with NKT’s strategic goal of providing greener power cable solutions, supporting the industry's shift towards environmentally friendly fuels.

Hagland Shipping Orders Methanol-Convertible Bulk Carriers
Date: June 5th, 2024

Key Points: Hagland Shipping has ordered four 5,000 DWT dry bulk carriers from Dutch shipyard Royal Bodewes. These vessels are designed to be easily converted to methanol propulsion in the future, reducing CO2 emissions by 40-50% and NOx emissions by 90-95% compared to the oldest ships in their fleet. The first ship is expected to be delivered by the end of 2025, enhancing Hagland's commitment to sustainability and emission reduction in Northern Europe and the Baltic region.

Headway Technology Group Opens New Office in Greece
Date: June 6th, 2024

Key Points: Headway Technology Group (Qingdao) Co., Ltd. has inaugurated a new office in Greece, coinciding with the first day of the Posidonia 2024 exhibition. This expansion aims to strengthen Headway's presence in the European low-carbon shipping sector, providing enhanced technical support and services. The new office will showcase Headway's methanol fuel supply systems and other green technologies, reinforcing their commitment to sustainable maritime solutions and supporting the global shift towards low-emission shipping practices.

Vopak Partners to Establish Green Methanol Bu Methanol Bunkering in China
Date: June 6th, 2024

Key Points: Vopak has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the vice mayor of Tianjin to develop a green methanol bunkering operation in Northern China's Tianjin port. This initiative aims to repurpose existing infrastructure for new energy projects, positioning Tianjin as a crucial logistics hub for green methanol development. The partnership with Tianjin Port Group underscores Vopak's commitment to supporting sustainable maritime fuels and contributing to the global energy transition.

New Methanol-Ready Fallpipe Vessel Named "Yellowstone"
Date: June 7th, 2024

Key Points: DEME Group's new fallpipe vessel, the 37,000 DWT "Yellowstone," has been officially named in a ceremony held in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The vessel, designed for future conversion to methanol dual-fuel propulsion, features a hybrid power plant with a 1 MWh Li-ion battery. The naming ceremony, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid, underscores DEME's commitment to innovation and sustainability in marine operations.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 14 June 2024

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Alternative Fuels

IUMI: How can liability and compensation regimes adapt to alternative bunker fuels and cargoes?

Existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative marine fuels will bring.

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By Tim Howse, Member of the IUMI Legal & Liability Committee and Vice President, Head of Industry Liaison, Gard (UK) Limited

The world economy is transitioning, with industries across the board seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices. As part of this, there is a huge effort within our industry to look to decarbonise, using alternative fuels such as biofuel, LNG, LPG, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen.

Until now there has been much focus on carbon emissions and operational risks associated with the use of alternative fuels. This includes increased explosivity, flammability, and corrosivity. An ammonia leak causing an explosion in port could result in personal injuries, not to mention property damage, air, and sea pollution. In addition, alternative fuels may not be compatible with existing onboard systems, increasing the risk of breakdowns and fuel loss resulting in pollution. Apart from these safety concerns, which particularly concern crew, air pollution and other environmental impacts need to be addressed.

However, the green transition also presents us with a separate regulatory challenge, which has received less attention so far. So, whilst carbon emissions and safety concerns are rightly on top of the agenda now, the industry also needs to prioritise the potential barriers in the legal and regulatory frameworks which will come sharply into focus if there is an accident.

If anything, historic maritime disasters like the Torrey Canyon spill in 1967, have taught us that we should look at liability and compensation regimes early and with a degree of realism to ensure society is not caught off-guard. With our combined experience, this is perhaps where the insurance industry can really contribute to the transition.

Currently, existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative fuels will bring. For example, an ammonia fuel spill would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (Bunkers Convention), potentially resulting in a non-uniform approach to jurisdiction and liability. Similarly, an ammonia cargo incident would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). Uncertainties may also exist in the carriage of CO2 as part of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects, which may be treated as a pollutant, with corresponding penalties or fines.

A multitude of questions will arise depending on what happens, where it happens, and the values involved, many of which may end up as barriers for would be claimants. How will such claims be regulated, will there be scope for limitation of liability, and would there be a right of direct action against the insurers? In the absence of a uniform international liability, compensation and limitation framework, shipowners, managers, charterers, individual crew, and the insurers may be at the mercy of local actions. Increased concerns about seafarer criminalisation (even where international conventions exist, ‘wrongful’ criminalisation does still occur) may emerge, creating another disincentive to go to sea.

When being carried as a cargo, the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), which is not yet in force, may resolve some of these issues for alternative fuels and CO2. However, until HNS comes into force, there will be no international uniformity to liability and compensation for the carriage of alternative fuels and CO2 as cargoes. This creates uncertainties for potential victims and their insurers, who may face increased risks and costs, due to the potential inability of existing regulations to provide protections.

The situation is even less clear in the case of bunkers. The rules for using alternative fuels as bunkers might require a separate protocol to HNS, a protocol to the Bunkers Convention, or a whole new convention specifically for alternative fuels.  Relevant considerations for the appropriate legislative vehicle include states’ preparedness to reopen the Bunkers Convention, the ability to conclude a protocol to HNS before it comes into force, and whether a multi-tier fund structure is needed for alternative fuels as bunkers (perhaps unnecessary because bunkers are usually carried in smaller quantities compared to cargoes).

Until then, what we are left with are the existing international protective funds, designed to respond at the highest levels to pollution claims resulting from an oil spill, without any similar mechanism in place to respond to a spill of alternative fuels, which are themselves so central to a green transition. Somewhat perversely, victims of accidents involving an oil spill may therefore enjoy better protections than victims of an alternative fuels spill.

In summary, while the use of alternative fuels will no doubt help to reduce the industry's carbon footprint, there are safety and practical hurdles to overcome. Stakeholders must also come together to find solutions to complex - and urgent, in relative terms - legal and regulatory challenges.

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Source:  International Union of Marine Insurance
Published: 13 June 2024

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Methanol

Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service

 

Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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