With #IMO2020 fast approaching – 194 days away as of this article – shipping lines, customers and ship owners are working hard on finding ways to be compliant (whether they like it or not)..
This is especially important in the wake of recent comments from IMO’s Frederick Kenney about the possibility of a postponement of the IMO2020 deadline “The chance is really zero. Procedurally, there is no mechanism that would allow the 0.50% regulation, as it stands right now, to change from 1 January 2020.”
There are still some questions over the use of open loop scrubbers which have been identified by the IMO as one of the several methods through which ships can meet lower sulphur emission standards.. Some of the main bunkering ports like Singapore and Fujairah have banned open loop scrubbers in their waters whereas some countries like South Africa have said yes to all types of approved scrubbers..
Then there are also the usage of bio fuels to power ships and shipments..
In what is termed as a first of its kind in the industry, a new carbon neutral product is being piloted by Maersk Line – the world’s largest container shipping line..
Maersk will provide this product to customers who are highly engaged in sustainable solutions for their supply chain..
H&M Group, a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children will be the first company to trial it as part of their shift towards carbon-neutral transportation..
In a press release, Maersk revealed that the biofuel used in the pilot project will be the same blend of used cooking oil and heavy which has been tested and successfully validated in a trial-driven in collaboration with the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition (DSGC) and Shell this year..
This bio-fuel is certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) body..
“The biofuel trial on board Mette Maersk has proven that decarbonized solutions for shipping can already be utilized today, both technically and operationally. While it is not yet an absolutely final solution it is certainly part of the solution and it can serve as a transition solution to reduce CO2 emissions today. With the launch of this product, Maersk seeks to help our customers with their goal of moving to sustainable supply chains, “explains Søren Toft, Maersk COO.
Cargo neutral biofuels are said to provide customers like H&M Group the ability to reduce their transport and logistics emissions..
“Our high ambition to become climate positive by 2040 requires cooperation and engagement from all parties in the supply chain. We want to use our size to be a force for good and enable scaling innovative solutions, such as the carbon neutral ocean product, for a greener commercial transport,” says Helena Helmersson, COO H&M Group.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) will provide a procedure to ensure carbon savings are accredited to our customers appropriately. When taking a full lifecycle view including also all emissions from upstream production and transportation, the fuel entails savings of 85% compared to bunker fuel..
As per Maersk, the goal of such pilot projects is to unlock the potential of sustainable fuels so they become a commercial reality..
The press release further added, “We will use the biofuel project learnings to support a broader product offering and will continue to co-develop and facilitate the uptake of solutions that will help bring about more cost-efficient carbon-neutral options for the carbon neutral transportation.
Today the shift away from fossil fuels can be expensive for shippers. Ensuring the wide-scale adoption of carbon-neutral solutions therefore requires technical innovation and supportive global policies.
We believe this is the only commercially viable path to make the required investments our industry requires to reach the carbon neutral target. We are so pleased to see a significant shift in sentiment and involvement from customers, fuel suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and competitors towards sustainable solutions,” emphasizes Toft.
Shipping remains the most carbon-efficient means of global transport today but accounts for 2-3% of global emissions..
This number will continue to grow if left unchecked by industry leaders and policymakers and it is heartening to know that Maersk will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on our journey to 2050..