Shell has trialed eco-friendly air lubrication technology aboard the LNG carrier Methane Patricia Camila (Silverstream)
Just a few months ago, the sentiment at COP26 was arguably one of positivity and hope, with shipping’s key players showing an unprecedented willingness to step up decarbonisation efforts. However, the fragmentation displayed at MEPC 77 painted a slightly different picture. The meeting saw action on accelerating environmental regulation and decarbonization remain, for the most part, solely as discussions. The ICS subsequently issued a statement calling the meeting a “missed opportunity” to decarbonize shipping, and the IMO has agreed to initiate a revision of its strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships to strengthen its ambition.
As the CEO and founder of a leading maritime clean technology company, I would agree that the results from MEPC 77 were disappointing. However, I would argue that they do not reflect the renewed energy within the industry to tackle decarbonization directly and get ahead of regulation.
Realizing our ambition
When I founded Silverstream Technologies over a decade ago, shipping’s perception of clean technology and innovation was one of scepticism; the result of a traditional industry reticent to change. However, shift forward 10 years, and our air lubrication system (ALS) is now one of the market’s most viable clean technologies for reducing the maritime industry’s emissions. Much of that success is down to our determination to conduct rigorous and transparent sea trials with the industry’s most respected owners, and to provide the market with verifiable proof of the results that we can deliver.
Today, we have more than 70 orders – under contract, in-build or in-service – including deals with major players such as Maersk, MSC, Shell, Carnival, Grimaldi, Vale and more. In 2021, we secured the largest ever order of a maritime propulsion clean technology system with MSC, covering more than 30 cargo vessels. It will save the company a forecasted 1.6 million tonnes of emitted CO2 and over $280 million in estimated fuel costs.
It is hugely encouraging to see tier one owners implementing decarbonization strategies that go beyond the requirements of current regulatory measures. These market leaders are proving that clean technologies have a central role to play in maritime decarbonization, and that trusted solutions are being prioritized amidst a range of decarbonization tactics.
I believe that the increased uptake we have seen this year is only a fraction of what is to come. In 2022, we will see the scales tip very much in favor of proven clean technologies as they start to become an industry standard.
Vessel efficiency: a commercial imperative
The widespread adoption of clean technologies in shipping has been bolstered in recent months by consumer demand for more environmentally conscious supply chains. As a result, we are seeing increased pressure from the charterers and shippers, who expect transparent and sustainable partners. This year alone we have seen Amazon, Ikea and Unilever sign a pledge to only move goods on ships using zero carbon fuel by 2040. Ultimately, for financial institutions, charterers and cargo owners, vessel efficiency is becoming a commercial imperative.
Despite the acceleration of longer-term environmental regulation still under discussion, the IMO’s Energy Efficiency …….