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SASHA: Green hydrogen is vital for sustainable bunker fuels in shipping and aviation

New report outlines how governments should prioritise the use of hydrogen and DAC in the aviation and shipping sectors because they lack decent alternatives, amongst others.




SASHA: Green hydrogen is vital for sustainable bunker fuels in shipping and aviation

All pathways to truly sustainable fuels for the shipping and aviation sectors require green hydrogen, produced from renewables, with some of them requiring carbon dioxide from sustainable sources like direct air capture (DAC).

This was the main conclusion of a report released on Monday (11 September) by the SASHA Coalition, facilitated by Opportunity Green. 

The report revealed that there is a lack of policy supporting the production of green hydrogen, which is slowing down demand and discouraging investment, creating a “Green Hydrogen Gap”. 

It outlined how governments should prioritise the use of hydrogen and DAC in the aviation and shipping sectors because they lack decent alternatives, and also highlights the need for policy to ensure that these solutions can be rolled out at scale. 

While first-mover ambitious companies can step forward voluntarily to send clear, unambiguous and urgent demand signals to green hydrogen producers, their actions will always be in isolation without the backing of policymakers.  

The Green Hydrogen Gap report by Opportunity Green draws on exclusive research by Arup and looks at the policy landscape of green hydrogen and DAC in the UK and the EU. 

It found that hydrogen production is behind on projections of where it needs to be to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and that this is due to a lack of guaranteed demand across the board. 

The latest environmental policies from both the EU and the UK focus more on supporting biofuels and/or the use of gas (liquefied natural gas) in aviation and shipping respectively, rather than ensuring that green hydrogen – required for full decarbonisation – is prioritised for aviation and shipping.

Aoife O’Leary, CEO of Opportunity Green and Director of the SASHA Coalition, said: “There is a worrying delay in green hydrogen production, which means that if aviation and shipping don’t make their case clearly and loudly now, they won’t have access to fuels that will truly lead to sustainable decarbonisation.”

“Governments are already prioritising other industries for hydrogen, so without stronger policy, aviation and shipping will be overlooked.”

Kerosene and Heavy Fuel Oil currently meet the bulk of fuel demand for the marine and aviation industries, and it’s estimated that the total consumption of marine fuels account for around 5% of global oil demand.

Sally Prickett, Director of Hydrogen, CCUS and New Fuels in Arup’s Advisory team, said: “Clearly, shipping and aviation will be unable to decarbonise at the scale and pace required without alternative fuels. It’s unlikely that there will be a ‘one solution fits all’ fuel for these sectors, but one thing this research tells us is that green hydrogen will play a critical role in their decarbonisation as a feedstock for the majority of sustainable fuel pathways. Without green hydrogen, these sectors will struggle to find satisfactory zero emissions solutions.” 

According to the report, policy signals are supporting the uptake of hydrogen-derived fuels at both a UK and EU level. However, these are not on the scale that’s needed to meet Paris targets and are just one component that will drive the adoption of hydrogen-derived fuels. 

“Policymakers must recognise that green hydrogen will continue to be in limited supply in the coming decades and should therefore be targeted towards sectors – such as shipping and aviation – that have no more efficient routes to decarbonisation,” it said. 

Nuala Doyle, Policy Officer at the SASHA Coalition, said: “Both shipping and aviation have come under increasing scrutiny for their climate impact, resulting in additional regulation at international, regional and national levels. And regulation will only get stricter over time as the climate crisis worsens.”

“We know that the fuels that will fully decarbonise both sectors require green hydrogen and direct air capture. However, current regulations do little to incentivise these – instead the regulations encourage fuels that either are not scalable or are still fossil fuels. Without regulation that aligns with, and incentivises, the goal of zero emissions, companies may find they end up with stranded assets from investment in a fuel that is no longer acceptable to use.”

Photo credit: SASHA Coalition
Published: 13 September, 2023

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SCZONE delegation discusses green hydrogen bunker fuel projects with Shell officials

Both discussed requirements of green hydrogen projects in Sokhna integrated zone including desalination plants, green corridor, and tank farms for liquid bulk.






The General Authority of Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) on Thursday (21 September) said its delegation, headed by Waleid Gamal El-Dien, met with Shell officials, Roberto Maria Batumli, Regional lead of the Hydrogen industry EU, and Rene Smeets, Marine LNG business development Manager during a roadshow tour to the Netherlands.

The meeting discussed green hydrogen projects and SCZONE’s plans regarding this sector, as SCZONE has signed nine framework agreements with major global consortia for green fuel production and bunkering services.

This comes after the bunkering operation for the first vessel powered by green methanol at East Port Said Port.

Both sides discussed the requirements of green hydrogen projects in Sokhna integrated zone; the desalination plants, the green corridor, and the tank farms for liquid bulk, to serve green hydrogen production, transportation, and storage.

“Within the meeting, Shell officials showcased the activity of bunkering services with liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the possibility of implementing this activity in Egypt through SCZONE-affiliated ports, due to the large density of transshipment of SCZONE ports, as well as the availability of the elements for implementing the bunkering activity, building on the successes SCZONE achieved after restoring bunkering services with fossil and green fuel in the ports of East and West Port Said and Sokhna,” it said.

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Photo credit: General Authority of Suez Canal Economic Zone
Published: 25 September, 2023

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Fincantieri to build two new hydrogen-powered ships for MSC Explora Journey fleet

“EXPLORA V” and “EXPLORA VI” will have new energy efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative bunker fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol.






Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri on Thursday (21 September) said the Cruise Division of MSC Group confirmed firm orders for two hydrogen-powered vessels for its luxury travel brand Explora Journeys.

The deal completes a total investment of EUR 3.5 billion in six luxury ships for Explora Journeys. The contracts are subject to access to financing as per industry practice.

EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will have new energy efficiency measures and will also be capable of using alternative bunker fuels such as bio and synthetic gas and methanol and the Cruise Division will work in the future with Fincantieri to equip the ships with future technologies including carbon capture, and more advanced waste management systems. The two confirmed additions to Explora Journeys’ fleet will be delivered in 2027 and 2028.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman - Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “With Explora Journeys we have created a luxury brand that has been successful at redefining luxury at sea. We are seeing continued growth in the luxury segment and the investment in these two new ships shows our commitment to continue to grow within this sector as well as to invest in ships of the future.”

“Together with Fincantieri we will study the newest technology that the world has to offer and continue with our commitment to introduce these technologies to drive efficiencies across the whole spectrum of ship performance.  And of course we will continue to deliver the very best luxury travel experience, immersing our guests in the ocean state of mind with an sustainable soul.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer, Fincantieri, said “This new contract with MSC is a sign of the growing vitality of the cruise sector, in line with what we had predicted. In strategic terms, our future will depend on our ability to lead the evolution of the sector towards all energy and digital transition technologies with the entrepreneurship required to validate, industrialise and commercialise new solutions.”

“The relevance of the partnership with MSC in this sense is a great strategic stimulus towards the future in line with the technological development goals set out in our new business plan. We are therefore particularly proud that the Explora project will mark the acceleration of this new phase, which with the fifth and sixth ships, will reach the highest level of advancement, making Fincantieri's vision of the ship of the future ever more concrete.”

The two new ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the vessels’ engines switched off. The ships will also feature a new generation of LNG engines that will further tackle the issue of methane slip with the use of containment systems.

Explora Journeys’ first ship, EXPLORA I was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe.  The ship will spend the autumn in North America, and the winter in the Caribbean Sea.  She will sail during the spring 2024 off the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in summer 2024 for a series of journeys in the Mediterranean Sea.

EXPLORA II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa visiting 82 ports in 26 countries.  EXPLORA II first ‘touched water’ on 6 September 2023 at a ‘float out’ ceremony near Genoa in Italy.

EXPLORA III will enter service in summer 2026 and construction of the LNG-powered vessel started on 6 September 2023 with a steel-cutting ceremony.  Construction of LNG-powered EXPLORA IV will begin in January 2024 and will be completed in early 2027.

All six ships in Explora Journeys’ fleet will be equipped with the latest environmental and marine technologies and will also feature the latest selective catalytic reduction technology to enable a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent, be equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce emissions in port and fitted with underwater noise management systems to help protect marine life.  

All six vessels will also have a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use to further reduce emissions.

Photo credit: Fincantieri
Published: 22 September, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Partners in Rotterdam-Singapore Green & Digital Shipping Corridor support emission reductions 

Separate working group has been formed to address gaps in regulation and financing including modelling price-gap differences to incentivise the uptake of alternative bunker fuels.





Partners in Rotterdam-Singapore Green & Digital Shipping Corridor support emission reductions

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Port of Rotterdam (PoR) and 20 partners in the Green & Digital Shipping Corridor are working to reduce 20% to 30% of emissions from international shipping by 2030, according to MPA on Wednesday (20 September). 

This was agreed at the third Green Corridor workshop, held this week in Rotterdam.

The Green & Digital Shipping Corridor was established in August 2022 to bring together partners across the supply chain to realise zero and near-zero emissions shipping on the Rotterdam-Singapore route, with the ultimate aim to reach net-zero emissions in 2050. Over the past year, the corridor attracted strong support from global value-chain partners, including shipping lines, port authorities and operators, fuel suppliers, fuel coalitions and associations, banks, leading institutes of higher learning and knowledge partners.

The project partners are working towards reducing GHG emissions from this international shipping corridor by 20%, striving for 30%, by 2030, compared to 20221. The corridor will continue to deepen efforts towards achieving the strengthened ambition of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. This is to be achieved through the development and uptake of zero and near-zero emission fuels in large containers vessels (of at least 8,000 TEU) deployed on the 15,000 km route, supported by a combination of operational and digital efficiencies.

A modelling study led by the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero-Carbon Shipping, one of the corridor partners for the project, and supported by the ports, explored multiple alternative fuels across a variety of zero and near-zero emission pathways, including synthetic and bio- variants of methanol, ammonia and LNG. Beyond the study, hydrogen is one other alternative fuel pathway to be looked at. Efforts are underway to aggregate demand and supply to reduce cost gap towards adoption of sustainable fuels.

Working groups have been established to look into the deployment of all of these fuels on the trade lane, spanning across demand and supply of fuel, standards, safety procedures, financing and regulations. The corridor partners gathered in Rotterdam this week to identify action steps for the various fuel pathways.

Enabling the use of new bunker fuels

Low carbon marine fuels will likely be more expensive than existing fuels and a separate working group has been formed with the support of the Global Maritime Forum, the Centre for Maritime Studies of the National University of Singapore, University of Oxford, and Citi, to address gaps in regulation and financing. The study includes modelling price-gap differences to incentivise the uptake of alternative bunker fuels.

In addition, Singapore and Rotterdam have jointly assessed the readiness of both ports and steps ahead such as adopting similar bunkering standards and safety frameworks to accelerate the adoption of zero and near-zero emission fuels on this major trade route. This was put into action in Q3 2023 with the conduct of ship-to-ship green methanol bunkering on the world’s first methanol-fuelled container ship at both Port of Singapore and Rotterdam.

The partners believe that the corridor’s approach, supported by the strong industry coalition, will provide greater certainty in demand and help scale-up production of zero and near-zero emission fuels. This will help to close the cost gap and encourage even wider adoption of such fuels.

Digital trade lanes

Rotterdam and Singapore are the first ports adopting and sharing port and vessel information such as arrival and departure timings in accordance with global standards, namely the IMO & International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) standards to enable systems interoperability. 

Both ports are also promoting the use of electronic bills of lading and digital solutions such as just-in-time planning and coordination to enhance efficiencies and reduce GHG emissions.

Partners in the Rotterdam-Singapore Green & Digital Shipping Corridor:

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the Port of Rotterdam, A.P. Moller Maersk A/S, bp, the Centre for Maritime Studies of the National University of Singapore, Citi, Clifford Capital, CMA CGM, Digital Container Shipping Association, the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, the Global Maritime Forum, the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero- Carbon Shipping, Methanol Institute, MSC, Nanyang Technological University Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence, Ocean Network Express, PSA International, RMI , SEA-LNG, Shell, University of Oxford, Yara Clean Ammonia.

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 20 September, 2023

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