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DNV ‘Live from Singapore’ webinar discusses operational efficiency and biofuel bunkers

GCMD study needs to show how maritime industry can cope with expected “lower energy density” of biofuel and how it impacts accessibility of biofuels for bunkering worldwide, says Sanjay Kuttan.




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“Do what we can now, with what we have!” This was the clear message on maritime decarbonization in a recent ‘Live from Singapore’ webinar organized by classification society DNV.

The panel explored strategies and practical solutions to decarbonize existing fleets, and how the industry can work together to solve this common challenge.

While fleet owners and operators are facing immense pressure, webinar panellists admitted that things will take time, and time is not on the side of shipping – and all other industries – to make the monumental changes to reach Net Zero goals, or at least halve emissions from international shipping by 50 percent until 2050.

Optimizing energy efficiency of existing fleets

Despite the huge challenges, panellists agreed there is a lot we can do right now that can make a big difference.

Ship operators can cut emissions immediately by introducing smart energy efficiency measures and it is possible to bunker low-carbon biofuels without having to make any changes to fuel tanks or engines. 

Anglo American’s Global Head of Shipping Peter Lye told the audience that his company was already working on a number of ways to reduce carbon intensity in its ocean freight operations. For example, it had successfully trialled (in mid-2021) a biodiesel blend, produced in Singapore from waste cooking oil, to power one of their charter vessels during a voyage to South Africa. 

Fellow panellist François-Xavier Accard, Managing Director of CMA CGM International Shipping, didn’t disagree, but made it clear that there was “not one solution”. Alternative fuels must be an important part of the mix, but we must not lose sight of the need for greater operational efficiency, including managing ship routing. He also called for more to be done to harmonize regulations for all in the maritime industry. 

DNV’s representative on the panel – Girish Sreeraman, Area Business Development Manager for Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent –could not go past the word “collaboration” to sum up the importance of addressing decarbonization for the maritime sector. 

On alternative fuels, he made it clear that much more investment was needed, while optimization of vessels’ performance was a move in the right direction by IMO. With its Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), ship operators needed more time to meet the reporting requirements.

More transparency needed

Sanjay Kuttan, Chief Technology Officer at the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD), explained that it was vital to share data and lessons learned from the CII implementation. Without transparency, the wider industry was not going to be able to collectively apply what’s needed or adapt technology to make a meaningful difference.

Mr Accard from CMA CGM did caution to say that some of the data collected is “sensitive” and not all of it can be freely shared. Admittedly, it is important to collect all relevant data from the vessels, he said, regarding speed, fuel use, energy efficiency measures taken. But he insisted that the regulations must be clear and must be applied to all.  

Mr Lye of Anglo American pointed out that transparency and sharing of relevant data is important to customers and the whole supply chain. “They need to know that what we’re doing works for them. And they have a right to demand information if they are expected to be paying more.”

Biofuels to bridge the gap

Biofuels certainly received a lot attention from panellists and the virtual webinar attendees, whose questions were ably moderated by host Yvonne Chan.

It fell to Mr Kuttan to tackle many of the biofuel questions because his organisation GCMD is in the middle of a study which aims to establish an assurance framework that ensures supply chain transparency of drop-in biofuels, whose applicability can be extended to future drop-in fuels. 

He explained that it covers bio-LNG, bio-methanol, and green ammonia, when they become available in meaningful quantities, but also focuses on currently available biofuels, like biodiesel from used cooking oil and agricultural wastes.  

It was important to understand all aspects of biofuels, including availability, accessibility, supply and demand, as well as the potential to scale up production. 

Mr Kuttan said he is “very encouraged” by the results of the survey with webinar participants which showed that by far the majority were either already using biofuels, committed to, or planning to commit to biofuels in the near future.  

Verifying the supply chain of biofuels

The industry and its customers needed to be reassured that the use of biofuels can be measured for the genuine reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Mr Sreeraman said. 

If the source and the supply chain can be reliably verified, biofuels could become 100% carbon neutral fuel for vessels. There must be clear guidelines, though, and acceptable international standards.

Mr Kuttan was asked if he considered that the International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC) was the best means to verify the source and supply chain of approved biofuels.

He told the audience that GCMD was fully evaluating all certification standards, including ISCC – which was designed in Europe to provide sustainability solutions for fully traceable and deforestation free supply chains – and has already been applied to biofuel supply in Europe and Asia. 

He also made the point that the GCMD study needs to show how the maritime industry can cope with the expected ”lower energy density” of biofuels, and how this impacts the accessibility of biofuels for bunkering in different parts of the world.

Ambition, collaboration, harmonization, action

Moderator Yvonne Chan concluded the very fruitful discussion by asking each panellist for a buzzword or two as a key take-away for all participants:

For CMA CGM’s François-Xavier Accard, it was the need for “harmonized regulations for all.”

Peter Lye, for Anglo American, summed it up in one word: “ambition’.

DNV’s Girish Sreeraman reinforced the need of “collaboration”. 

It was left to Sanjay Kuttan to elaborate – and take us back to the beginning – with his summary: “Bend the curve. Do what we can now, with what we have!” 

If you missed the webinar episode, you may access it here.

Related: DNV ‘Live from Singapore’ webinar: Panel explores challenges and opportunities in maritime digitalization
Related: Future-proofing shipping: The decarbonization game-changer


Photo credit: DNV
Published: 17 February, 2023

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Shipping Corridor

Singapore, LA and Long Beach unveil Partnership Strategy for Pacific Ocean green and digital shipping corridor

Ports and C40 have commissioned a study to analyse trade flows and vessel traffic between the three locations as well as estimate quantity of near-zero/zero-emission bunker fuels required for this traffic.





Singapore, LA and Long Beach unveils Partnership Strategy for Pacific Ocean green and digital shipping corridor

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and Port of Long Beach (POLB) on Wednesday (6 December) unveiled a Partnership Strategy for a green and digital shipping corridor (GDSC) across the Pacific Ocean at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The release of the Partnership Strategy follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by MPA, POLA and POLB during Singapore Maritime Week in April 2023. The MoU formalised the partnership, which is supported by C40 Cities, with the aim of establishing a GDSC connecting the three global hub ports.

The scope of cooperation through the Partnership Strategy and success indicators specified within build upon the MoU signed in April 2023 and reaffirm the corridor partners’ commitment to drive global action to digitalise and decarbonise the shipping industry and improve efficiencies.

The GDSC Strategy outlines steps to accelerate decarbonisation of the maritime shipping industry by enabling first mover organisations to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the earliest feasible date, in support of the goals defined by the 2023 International Maritime Organization’s Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. The ports and C40 will work together and with value-chain stakeholders from the fuel and maritime sectors to:

● Coordinate decarbonisation efforts: GDSC partners will help to catalyse and coordinate efforts to enable ships calling at the Port of Singapore, Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the earliest feasible date. 

● Build consensus on green shipping best practices: GDSC partners will seek to establish consensus around green shipping best practices and standards.

● Improve access to and adoption of technology and digital solutions: To enhance supply chain efficiency, resilience and decarbonisation while reducing costs and improving reliability, GDSC partners will work to develop and deploy innovative technology and digital solutions.

● Leverage networks: GDSC partners will work with stakeholders involved in other green shipping initiatives, including those established by the three ports and other parties, to scale the uptake of zero and near-zero emission technologies, fuels and energy sources.

To achieve these aims, a partnership structure and governance mechanism have been developed to provide clarity on the roles and responsibilities of GDSC partners. The strategy also outlines processes for onboarding new participants, financial management, confidentiality and decision-making.

As next steps, the ports and C40 have commissioned a study to analyse trade flows and vessel traffic between Singapore, Los Angeles and Long Beach. The study will estimate the quantity of near-zero and zero-emission fuels required for this traffic, and guide implementation by identifying opportunities for collaboration to advance the development of the GDSC.

The founding partners will now engage stakeholders from across the shipping and fuel supply value chains that share the GDSC's vision and aims, with the intention of onboarding new corridor participants in 2024. 

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said: “We are excited to see this partnership grow from strength to strength with the Green and Digital Shipping Corridor Partnership Strategy. We have embarked on evaluating the various digital solutions and zero and near-zero fuels options that could be trialled along the route between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay Port Complex. We look forward to the support of all the corridor stakeholders over the coming months to conduct trials and potentially scale them for wider adoption.”

"This Partnership Strategy document is the foundation upon which we'll build the future of maritime shipping,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “Our success requires the resolve and dedication of the three partnering ports as well as our industry partners. Together, we will model the collaboration necessary to achieve our climate and efficiency goals." 

“Over the last two decades, we've learned that collaboration between maritime industry partners is the key to making meaningful progress in reducing emissions and cleaning the air,”Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said. “This trans-Pacific green shipping corridor takes this concept global. The strategies we develop here can be used as a roadmap by a larger network of seaports and supply chain companies to invest in programs, technologies, software and infrastructure to decarbonize international trade everywhere.”

C40 Executive Director Mark Watts, said: "C40 is proud to support our port partners in delivering this Partnership Strategy. The advancement of this Green and Digital Shipping Corridor brings the shipping sector one step closer to a 1.5°C-aligned trajectory. Green shipping is only achievable through collaboration because no one stakeholder can afford to move unless they know others are likely to follow. That’s where C40 is delighted to help, bringing our network of world-leading cities, which include most of the world’s largest and most forward-looking ports."

Note: The Partnership Strategy document can be viewed here

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 7 December, 2023

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PIL and DP World embark on biofuel bunkering trials at Jebel Ali Port

Both parties will collaborate on trial shipments between Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and destinations within PIL’s network in near term which will include shipments on PIL’s vessels powered by a biofuel blend.





PIL and DP World embark on biofuel bunkering trials at Jebel Ali Port

Singapore-based container operator Pacific International Lines (PIL) on Wednesday (6 December) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DP World, which handles around 10% of the world’s container trade, to jointly develop green solutions to decarbonise global supply chains.

In the near term, both parties will collaborate on trial shipments between Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and destinations within PIL’s network, with initiatives to reduce the shipments’ GHG footprint. This will include shipments on PIL’s vessels powered by a biofuel blend, biofuel bunkering, and deploying container handling equipment at terminals that run on renewable energy to handle the shipments.

Over the longer term, the companies will explore expanding this partnership to include other ports within DP World’s global network, and using other alternative bunker fuels, such as e-LNG, green methanol or green ammonia in PIL’s vessel operations and bunkering.

It was signed by Mr Lars Kastrup, Chief Executive Officer, PIL and Mr Tiemen Meester, Group Chief Operating Officer, Ports & Terminals, DP World, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), conveying their commitment to combating climate change and the collective goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Mr Lars Kastrup, Chief Executive Officer, PIL said: “Supply chain resilience and sustainability is the bedrock of global trade growth. With the renewed commitment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) this year to take a significant step forward to decarbonise the shipping industry, we at PIL are responding actively to IMO’s call and working to invest in and implement green solutions to achieve our target of achieving net zero by 2050. In this regard, we are pleased to have DP World joining us on our sustainability journey. Capitalising on the combined strengths of our two organisations, we can both augment our sustainability efforts as we co-develop solutions to decarbonise our supply chains.”

Mr Tiemen Meester, Group Chief Operating Officer, Ports & Terminals, DP World, said: “Decarbonisation is the single biggest concern for DP World outside the constraints and the physical movement of goods. So, we are transforming our business and the impact global trade has on the climate. We have already committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2040 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But we must explore partnerships with companies that share our ambitions and technology to be deployed right now for quicker results.”

Photo credit: DP World
Published: 7 December, 2023

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LNG Bunkering

DNV awards AiP to China Merchants Jinling Shipyard for world’s largest PCTC design

DNV has awarded an Approval in Principle certificate to China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) for its 11,000-CEU capacity LNG-fuelled PCTC design at Marintec China trade fair.





DNV awards AiP to China Merchants Jinling Shipyard for world’s largest PCTC design

Classification society DNV on Wednesday (6 December) said it has awarded an Approval in Principle (AiP) certificate to China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) Co., Ltd. for its 11,000-CEU capacity LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) design at the Marintec China trade fair. 

Recognized as the world's largest PCTC, the 234m long and 40m wide ship will have 14 decks allowing 11,000 car equivalent units (CEUs) to be stored simultaneously, which not only increases efficiency but also reduces the transport cost per vehicle.

By implementing a combination of decarbonization measures, the so-called “Super Large Smart Green 11,000” design will result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions, in line with the stringent requirements of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) Phase 3 and NOx Tier III. The PCTC will use LNG as its primary fuel and will be equipped with a 4,200cbm LNG storage tank.

With the assistance of ship designer Deltamarin, the hull line of the vessel has been optimised through numerous CFD calculations and ship model tests. Additional energy-saving features include a stern flow optimization device and an air lubrication system, which effectively minimise resistance and reduce the required propulsion power. The integration of hybrid propulsion systems and solar power further underlines the commitment to reducing energy consumption.

"We expect the market for electric vehicles to continue to grow, driving demand for PCTCs. Scale, energy efficiency and low carbon fuel are key to reducing emissions from the transport of these vessels. As a leading class for car carriers, DNV is honoured to be entrusted with the assessment of this next generation of car carriers and we look forward to working with China Merchants to bring these vessels to the water," said Norbert Kray, Regional Manager Greater China at DNV Maritime.

According to China Merchants, the shipyard is already in discussions with potential customers for the 11,000 CEU PCTC.

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 7 December, 2023

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