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MSC explores hydrogen and biofuels as viable bunker fuels for decarbonisation

14 Oct 2020

International shipping line Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in early October 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, MSC Group’s Bud Darr outlined some preferred options in a keynote speech on decarbonisation and during a panel discussion on fuels for the future.

“There’s no one single solution to decarbonise shipping; we need a range of alternative fuels at scale and we need them urgently,” said Darr Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs at MSC Group.

“The future of shipping and decarbonisation will rely on strong partnerships from both the perspective of technology collaboration and procurement.”

In support of the UN International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) policy goals to decarbonize shipping, MSC added it 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, noted Darr at the conference.

MSC added it is also pioneering the large-scale usage of biofuel blends for container ships and is already bunkering responsibly sourced, up to 30% biofuel lends on a routine basis in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Additionally, 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 said it also 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 noted it has recently introduced the company’s latest sustainability report, which provides a thorough overview of the company’s approach to sustainability highlighting some key achievements from all the MSC group of companies.

Related: MSC clarifies Transport & Environment report on shipping emissions in the EU
Related: MSC trials alternative bunker fuels and offers clients carbon offsetting for sustainability

Photo credit: MSC
Published: 14 October, 2020

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