Shipping groups press EU to advance marine ‘fuels of future’

Shipping groups press EU to advance marine ‘fuels of future’

Shipping and trade groups are calling on the European Union to advance the development of ammonia and green hydrogen as the best marine fuel options to enable the industry to accelerate decarbonisation.

With about 90 percent of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions.

To reach goals for shipping set by the United Nations, industry leaders say the first net-zero ships must enter the global fleet by 2030, with vessels powered by green hydrogen and its derivative compound ammonia among the options.

The coalition of groups, which includes Trafigura, urged the European Union – one of the world’s major shipping hubs – to prioritise these two fuels as part of its draft FuelEU Maritime initiative, which seeks to boost production and use of sustainable marine energy in the bloc.

“Building on independent research, and with the knowledge that we currently have, we believe that hydrogen-based fuels will be the shipping fuels of the future,” a Trafigura spokesperson said.

Trafigura added that a global carbon levy led by the UN shipping agency, the IMO, was also needed “to encourage and incentivise the use of low and zero-carbon fuels”.

Green hydrogen, made from electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from renewable energy, is emissions free. But it is expensive and less dense than other fuels, meaning more onboard fuel storage capacity is needed.

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15th March 2021