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SSI: Biofuels best cost option for zero-emissions shipping

May 17, 2018 09:52 AM

Multiple solutions will be needed, however, to reach beyond efficiency to decarbonization

The following is text of a news release from the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI):

(LONDON) — Shipping faces huge challenges in finding affordable zero-emission fuels, against a background of poor financial returns and a global requirement to keep transport costs low. In this environment, biofuels currently present the most affordable option for shipping, though great challenges remain in relation to the scale of production and sustainability of biofuels.

This report, authored by Lloyd's Register and UMAS, was geared to the needs and requirements of SSI members, who are mainly involved in deep-sea trades with containerships, bulk carriers and tankers.

“The report makes clear that the technology is with us today, but investment is needed both to bring the technology to scale and to encourage a wider take-up," said Stephanie Draper, chief change officer for Forum for the Future and co-chair of the SSI. "The shipping industry will need multiple solutions, and investment for different technologies – not just biofuels – to reach beyond fuel efficiency to decarbonization.”

The report also examines electric power and hydrogen fuel cells, and takes note of the upstream CO2 emissions which need to be resolved as these fuels will have to be judged on an environmental performance from “well to wake,” and not just on emissions from ships. As shipping is now in concert with the Paris Agreement, the benefits of other land-based technologies and energy production should help to drive down upstream emissions for ships' fuel.

As a result of this report, the SSI is engaged in a deep-dive into biofuels in 2018 to assess the viability of biofuels for the world fleet. “Biofuels represent a stepping stone to further emissions reduction,” said Tom Holmer, general manager of the SSI. “Alternative marine fuels provide a huge opportunity for creating value and finding sustainable solutions. The SSI will continue to look at the whole value chain and this report highlights that the next ten years will see huge changes in the way ships are fueled.”

Click here to download the report.

About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative is an independent charity, comprised of ambitious leaders spanning the whole shipping value chain from charterers and ship owners, to class societies and technology companies.

The SSI’s objective is to drive the whole shipping industry value chain towards greater resilience by defining, tracking and accelerating industry progress towards sustainability. The SSI works to ensure shipping fulfills its vital role in the global economy during this time of extraordinary change.

The vision for SSI is for a shipping industry where social, environmental and economic sustainability equates to commercial success. We work with our members and other shipping stakeholders to create a more environmentally responsible, socially conscious, safer, accountable, and more economically profitable industry. One that is truly sustainable by 2040, as outlined in the SSI Roadmap.

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