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LR launches framework to assess readiness of vessels operating on zero carbon bunker fuels

New framework ranks vessel readiness for zero carbon fuel operations from 1 (highest level of readiness) to 5 (lowest level of readiness), and measured on a well-to-wake basis.




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Classification Society Lloyd’s Register (LR) on Thursday (10 November) said it has launched a five-level framework for assessing the actual readiness of a vessel for the transition to zero carbon fuels.

Published by LR’s Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, ‘Zero Ready Framework – helping to ensure shipping can deliver our zero-emissions future’, ranks vessel readiness for zero carbon fuel operations from 1 (highest level of readiness) to 5 (lowest level of readiness), and measured on a well-to-wake basis.

The framework has been created to offer clarity around the term ‘readiness’ which is used in multiple ways across the shipping industry. The rankings were developed based on observations that some shipowners have had a design for conversion to zero carbon fuel done as a paper exercise, without a plan for how the conversion would be carried out. Others have some or all the required equipment (for example: engine, tank, pipework, fuel management system) already installed. Another group of vessels have a dual fuel engine that could run on a zero-carbon fuel but may require an engine retrofit to do so.

An assessment of a container ship route in Southeast Asia by the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub found that, despite pushing forward of new initiatives by financiers, insurers and ship charterers to achieve zero emissions, 27% to 30% of vessels newly built between 2022 and 2050 will still require conversion to a different fuel in order to meet zero targets.

Charles Haskell, Director, LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, said: “As ships built today will still be in service in the 2040s, it’s essential for shipowners to understand the full implications of actual vessel ‘readiness’ for zero carbon fuels to meet the industry’s 2050 decarbonisation targets. These differing standards and classifications of ‘readiness’ across the industry have made it difficult for owners to conduct a transparent assessment of their vessels’ commercial prospects in a zero-emissions future.

In view of the significant structural and technical complexities of vessel conversion, we developed the ‘Zero Ready Framework’ to help investors, charterers, insurers and prospective shipowners better understand and assess the risks and conversion costs of both existing and newly built fleets.”

“Until now, we have found that current regulations have focused on near-term improvements in vessel energy efficiency and GHG emissions, but have yet to address the longer-term goal of vessel readiness for zero carbon fuels,” said Andrew Keevil, Strategy Development Manager for LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and lead author of the framework.

“We designed the ‘Zero Ready Framework’ to accommodate the spectrum of vessel capabilities in both the fleet and the order book. We hope that the industry adopts these readiness levels, thus creating a common understanding of where ships are today on the journey to zero. By committing to a clearly defined readiness standard by a specified date, shipowners are better able to factor climate risks into their business plans and demonstrate climate action to both their customers and stakeholders.”

The framework has been developed through cross-industry consultation through a series of workshops with industry stakeholders.

Haris Zografakis, partner at the law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP, who's involved in various maritime decarbonisation projects and is an expert in the contractual aspects of decarbonisation, said: “Many aspects of decarbonisation suffer from an absence of accepted standards and precise definitions; for example, in relation to measurement of emissions, the specifications of new fuels, and their fitness for purpose. Another nebulous area is the commonly used term ‘zero-ready’ vessels (either newbuilds, or following retrofits), which has no classification or regulatory definition.

Standards and clarity are not merely desirable for debates, policies, technological progress, or investments. They are also critical in the world of contracts: shipbuilding, ship conversion, chartering, but also finance, where uncertainty and ambiguity always gives rise to disputes, for example in relation to pre-contractual misrepresentations, or breach of contractual warranties. LR’s efforts in creating a set of definitions for the various types of ‘zero ready’ vessels is an important development, as it will allow parties to incorporate the relevant definition into their contracts, so as to identify precisely which type of readiness they adopt. A fine example of voluntary initiatives, aided by contracts, moving ahead of regulations.”

Nikos Benetis, Technical Director, Greenheart Management, the in-house shipping desk for Hayfin Capital Management’s maritime funds, said: “A first in our industry where stakeholders have had an opportunity to voice their concerns and challenges via a focused and well driven forum/platform, with a set deliverable. The framework captures and summarises the critical factors in a concise way and sets out clearly defined discussion topics and roadmap for owners, investors, manufacturers and shipyards, that will support understanding, benchmarking and ultimately adoption within the industry.”

Tim Berckmoes, CEO of Anglo Belgian Corporation, added: “Zero carbon fuel readiness is a critical issue for shipping today. The Zero Ready Framework defines a series of levels that will help to steer the industry to zero through step-by-step improvements in readiness. Both dual fuelled and 100% hydrogen marine engines are already available, enabling the highest possible levels of readiness in the 1MW to 2.6MW power range today. In addition, innovative engine platform solutions will deliver the flexibility needed to respond to uncertainty and evolve with vessels as they progress upwards through the readiness levels.”

Note: The whitepaper ‘Zero Ready Framework – helping to ensure shipping can deliver our zero-emissions future’ can be found here.


Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register

Published: 14 November, 2022

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Editor's note: The following article was edited on 4 March 2023 to correct PTP press release's description of CMA CGM Monaco.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership a 2024-built vehicle carrier operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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