The pathway for energy transition in shipping

Future Fuels in association with sponsor FuelSpec®, a combustion catalyst product, has organized first webinar on “Decarbonising Shipping – Issues and challenges” on 25th February 2022, with the participation of representatives from key stakeholders in the shipping industry including Indian Register of Shipping, INSA, MASSA, CMMI, FOSMA, Institute of Marine Engineers of India, Wartsila, and MAN Energy Solutions.

Setting the tone for the first webinar of Future Fuels, Mr Ramprasad Ravi, Editor-in-chief, Maritime Gateway, has introduced the initiatives of the Gateway Media – Maritime Gateway and Future Fuels in connecting governments, trade associations, industry players through the content, research and various discussion forums and also cited the need for conducting such an event to clear the air about decarbonisation in shipping and the apprehensions related to it in reaching out to NetZero goals set by regulatory authorities.  

Mr Anil Devli, CEO, Indian National Shippers’ Association (INSA), acted as moderator for the first session of the webinar. The panellists in the first session have focused on ‘Becoming Carbon Neutral: Regulations, options and Technology – Solutions for sustainability and efficiency’.

In his initial remarks to the discussion Mr Indranath Bose, Advisor, Great Eastern Shipping Company, said that all this decarbonisation in shipping is necessitated by the IPCC, and IMO regulations which mandate shipping to reach NetZero by 2050. He said the shipping owners today are facing huge amount of risk because of the change in IMO regulations on emissions in shipping, as it will be huge task for them to go for retrofitting their vessels, which have a more life span; moreover there are no readily available alternative fuels in the market to replace fossil fuels.

Mr Vijay Arora, Managing Director, Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has elaborated the IMO strategy on reducing the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Mr Arora explained the short-, mid-, and long-term emission reduction measures like carbon intensity indicators (CII), and energy efficiency Existing ship Index (EEXI) measures lasting till 2050. He also revealed how IRS can assist ship owners with the help of a newly developed web-based electronic toll for EEXI calculation and development of EEXI technical file, and other technical assistance through workshops.

While presenting a different perspective in the discussion, Capt Mahendra Bhasin, Chairman, MASSA, has said that we are moving more towards digitally smart and a carbon neutral future through decarbonisation. He said that the process is transformational not just transitioning and the impact on the ship operations can be huge. He said it is always crucial to keep the crew and ship in mind. It is important to touch safety aspects, and how robust is this transformation in this safety critical industry? He said while transforming it is imperative to see proper risk management systems and to ensure resilience. The digitalisation and decarbonisation go hand in hand and ultimately the success of the systems will depend on seafarers, he said.

Mr Sachin Kulkarni, Head, Marine Business Sales – (South Asia), Wartsila, while joining the discussion said that at this point of time there are many options available but there is no consensus on commercial availability of the future fuels, which of course, will depend on a lot of factors like geographical location the national interest and legislation and the availability of the stock. He said investing in flexible future fuel solutions will mitigate business risks associated with future fuels. The business impact of future conversion can be reduced further by preparing the fuel tanks, he said.

Taking the discussion forward, Mr Jithendra Nimmagadda, CEO, Marine, Vishwa Samudra Group, said that the global maritime industry emits about 940 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which accounts for 2-5% of the total GHG emissions globally. So, the focus is mainly on the reduction of CO2 emissions, but future fuels like ammonia, hydrogen, methanol, and biofuels are currently not available and it may take a while for them to be available in the market. Then, what is the option for reduction of emission now for at least 1/3rd of the vessels that have a lifespan of about 15 years more. He said here is a product from Vishwa Samudra Group called FuelSpec®, a combustion catalyst, which when combined with fossil fuels offers emission reduction as well as efficiency. He said that the product comes with a host of combustion benefits.

Mr Mukesh Kumar, Fleet Personnel Manager, BSSM, stressed on the need to have dual fuel engines in the transition phase, and EGCS system for the existing vessels. He further said that measures like applying coating for vessels will improve the carbon emissions before fully transitioning into future fuels.

The first session of the webinar was followed by Q&A from delegates.

The second session of the webinar has focused on ‘Solutions for sustainability and efficiency’.

While mooting the discussion of the webinar’s second session Capt Rahul Chodhury, Managing Director, AMEA, Veritas Petroleum Services, said the international shipping uses more than 300 million tonnes of the existing fossil fuels every year, and therefore the dominance of these fuels are going be there for some time. As these fuels power more than 55 vessels across the world in shipping and replacing this will be a huge task. He further said that existing bunker fuel hubs play an important role in the transition of green corridors or decarbonisation. In this context, the Indian bunker marine fuel share position vis-à-vis global bunkering is relatively very less, he said. He further said that all future fuels come with pros and cons and there is no panacea for future. The future fuels may reduce CO2 emissions up to 95 to 100%, but they also come limiting considerations like safety, ammonia is highly corrosive and methanol has a very low flash point and requires largest storage point. One area of interest that we see is in biofuels, which can be used with the existing engines without retrofitting. But there is a talk about sustainable biofuels, but this is changing with second and third generation biofuels which are not crop-based. For decarbonisation in shipping to succeed creative collaboration, robust R&D work and regulatory framework – Singapore has all of these three in one.

Advocating the need for initiating efforts of decarbonisation in ports, Mr P Jairaj Kumar, Chairman and managing Director, Ocean Sparkle Limited, said that unfortunately there are no regulators to control emissions at ports. He said ports are equally responsible for GHG emissions like ships. He cited that member states have signed IMO MEPC 74 resolution that talks about cooperation between ports sector and ships to reduce emissions from ships but not at ports. The four areas identified in the resolution include developing offshore power facilities at ports preferably from renewable sources, provision of safe bunkering facilities, promotion of port incentives for ships for low carbon emissions, and optimisation port calls. He said India has taken few action plans in this direction including India maritime vision 2030, the national action plan and key interventions and green initiatives and commitment made at COP26 summit. India has already initiated national action plans like achieving just-in-time arrivals at ports by 2023, and port based incentives for low emission ships. In the infrastructure segment, he said, India has identified battery charging stations at ports, bunkering stations for LNG, ammonia, and hydrogen. In the technology and solutions segment, shore power all by 2023. However, very little is achieved so far in meeting these measures due to not having a regulator at ports.

Joining the discussion, Mr Pawan Kapoor, Chairman and Managing Director, ISF Group, said that limited perspectives on GHG emissions cannot find us right solutions. As per IPCC 6 report says GHG emission may even affect our existence in the world. So regulations are to be there and working on new fuels has to be initiated and awareness at all levels of society. We have to keep sustainability in mind while developing new fuels, he said.

Mr Girish Sreeraman, Area Manager, Maritime, India, DNVGL, in his remarks said that we don’t have the luxury of discussing the measures for decarbonisation and for 20 to 30 years and then arrive at a decision. He said the situation has come where steep targets are set for decarbonisation of shipping. It’s the time for all stakeholders in the maritime industry to come together and collaborative approach to work for achieving decarbonisation goals.  Technical aspects have to be taken into account before transitioning to future fuels.

Stressing the need for decarbonisation, Mr Kristian Mognesen, Superintendent Engineer (Marine), MAN-ES, said MAN engines are responsible for about 1.5% of the global CO2 emissions, and therefore have a significant impact on the global maritime sustainability agenda. He has elaborated on the development of engines for all future fuels including LNG, Methanol, LPG, ammonia, and ethane.

Joining the discussion, Ms Vinita Venkatesh, Ocean 2 Door, said that they are the global marketing partners for FuelSpec®, a combustion catalyst meant for bringing fuel efficiency emissions reduction. Ms Vinita has presented the test trials conducted on the product which have shown great results in bringing fuel efficiency, emission reduction and fuel saving also.

The second session was also followed by Q&As from delegates.

Tags: CMMI, Decarbonising Shipping, FOSMA, Future Fuels webinar, INSA, Institute of Marine Engineers of India, MAN energy Solutions, MASSA, Wartsila
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