The World Bank on Thursday (15 April) published new research on decarbonizing the maritime transport sector with findings that indicate significant business and development opportunities for countries, including for developing and emerging economies.
To lower and ultimately eliminate its climate impact, maritime transport needs to abandon the use of fossil-based bunker fuels and turn toward ‘zero-carbon bunker fuels’, namely shipping fuels which emit zero or at most very low greenhouse (GHG) emissions across their life cycles.
The first report being launched, The Potential of Zero-Carbon Bunker Fuels in Developing Countries, identifies two alternative fuels – ammonia and hydrogen – as the most promising zero-carbon bunker fuels for shipping at present, more scalable and cost-competitive than other biofuel or synthetic carbon-based options.
The second report, The Role of LNG in the Transition Toward Low- and Zero-Carbon Shipping, finds that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is likely to play a limited role in the decarbonization of the shipping sector, noting its specific niche applications on pre-existing routes or in specific vessel types.
The research further recommends countries should avoid new public policies supporting LNG as a bunker fuel, reconsider existing policy support, and continue to regulate methane emissions.
By transitioning toward zero-carbon shipping, many countries, especially those with large renewable energy resources, can break into a future zero-carbon fuel market, while modernizing their own domestic energy and industrial infrastructure.
The reports evaluate which developing and developed countries may be well positioned to take advantage of this emerging investment opportunity, and present initial case studies for Brazil, India, Mauritius and Malaysia.
“The maritime community, particularly in developing countries, has a unique opportunity in the context of these emerging zero-carbon bunker fuels.” said Bernice Van Bronkhorst, Global Director for Climate Change at the World Bank.
“Not only will they help decarbonize shipping, but they can also be used to boost domestic infrastructure needs and chart a course for low-carbon development more generally.”
The global maritime transport sector produces around three percent of global GHG emissions and an estimated 15% of the world’s air pollution annually.
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Initial Strategy on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships mandates that shipping’s GHG emissions be reduced by at least 50% below 2008 levels by 2050, and to be fully phased out as quickly as possible within this century.
“Zero-carbon fuels will need to represent at least five percent of the bunker fuel mix by 2030 to put shipping on a GHG trajectory consistent with the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, as well as the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, ” added Binyam Reja, World Bank Acting Global Director for Transport.
“This means they need to be scaled up rapidly. These reports will be critical to help accelerate their targeted development and deployment.”
“It is vital that we address the impacts of maritime transport on ocean health, which is at the heart of the Bank’s transition to a Blue Economy. These reports offer policymakers useful tools to achieve a triple win – a healthier ocean, improved air quality and reduced GHG emissions,” said Karin Kemper, Global Director for Environment, Natural Resources and the Blue Economy.
The research makes the case that strategic policy interventions are needed to hasten the sector’s energy transition and seize opportunities for wider economic, energy, and industrial development in developing countries.
For instance, the introduction of a meaningful carbon price would create a level playing field for the development and utilization of zero-carbon bunker fuels. Revenue generated by such a market-based measure can help support developing countries in their energy transitions and accelerate crucial research, development, and deployment of these fuels.
The research also calls for businesses to focus on “no-regret” options, such as increased energy efficiency and maximum fuel flexibility.
Constructive collaboration between industry stakeholders and policymakers, both at the IMO and on a national/regional level, can also create greater certainty on the availability, pricing, and timing of zero-carbon bunker fuels which can further boost their rapid uptake from 2030.
Reports mentioned in the article are available for download in the links below:
Photo credit: The World Bank
Published: 16 April, 2021
OctamarTM HF-10 Plus was subjected to tests conducted at a third party lab by SGS Testing and Intertek in Singapore under the supervision of ClassNK earlier this year, according to spokeswoman.
Former Regional Marine Manager of BP Singapore issued penalty of SGD 6 million; he faces an additional 28-month imprisonment term if penalty is not paid, says Judge.
Sing Fuels claiming over total 1,049.29 metric tonnes of 380 centistokes bunker fuel delivered to bulk carrier Lila Shanghai at Port Elizabeth, South Africa in July 2019, according to court documents.
Reserve Stability Number results are ‘questionable’ as almost all additives targeting asphaltene management show effectiveness in the test, says spokesman.
Singfar International partnering Lianyungang Shenghua Shipbuilding to deliver 7,000 dwt DF bunker tankers from 2023 to support decarbonisation of the Singapore maritime industry.
GSM awarded USD 1.85 million as well as SGD 5,800; Judge finds SFM Director ‘ungrateful and dishonest in his dealings with Bernard and the plaintiff,’ according to Court Judgement seen by Manifold Times.