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MSC starts using greener blend of fuel oil in IMO carbon-cutting drive

MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company (MSC) has started to bunker some of its vessels calling at the Dutch port of Rotterdam with a blend of fuel oil containing biofuels, as it strives to lower its carbon footprint

17 December 2019 - 03:54

MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company (MSC) has started to bunker some of its vessels calling at the Dutch port of Rotterdam with a blend of fuel oil containing biofuels, as it strives to lower its carbon footprint.

This comes as Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) claimed MSC was responsible for 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018.



Citing a new study, T&E argued that if shipping were included in the European Union's emissions trading system, MSC would rank as the eighth-biggest emitter in the bloc, reported London's The Loadstar.



MSC said it had so far trialled a 10 per cent blend of biofuel in its ships, which, according to MSC Group executive vice president of maritime policy Bud Darr, is expected reduce CO2 emissions by between 15 and 20 per cent for the ships concerned.



'The potential CO2 reduction in the bio component of these fuels could reach 80-90 per cent, which we will monitor and confirm over time,' claimed Mr Darr.



The shipping line said: 'Responsibly sourced biofuels could provide an alternative solution for the shipping sector to meet the 2030 IMO level of ambition for CO2 emissions intensity reduction, as well as to make significant progress toward the 2050 levels of ambition.'



Notwithstanding the biofuel trials, MSC said that its other research into the use of alternative fuels formed part of its preparations for the compliance with the International Maritime Organisation's 0.5 per cent sulphur cap on marine fuel that comes into effect on January 1.



The carrier will fit half of its 564-strong fleet with scrubbers since the exhaust gas cleaning technology will enable ships to consume cheaper heavy fuel oil (HFO) next year.



'The great challenge which remains for container shipping this century is how to decarbonise and meet the IMO's future emissions goals beyond 2030,' said Mr Darr.



He said MSC's fleet improvement programme had resulted in a 13 per cent reduction between 2015 and 2018, based on its internal energy efficiency operational indicator. Furthermore, MSC claimed its newbuild 23,000 TEU MSC Gulsun-class vessels had 'the lowest carbon footprint by design' at 7.49 grammes of CO2 emissions to move one tonne of cargo per one nautical mile.



It said it was 'committed to reducing the environmental footprint of global supply chains,' but that the IMO's ambitious targets would 'not be achievable without some major breakthroughs in fuel and propulsion technologies.'



2M partner, Maersk, has teamed up with industry peers and customers to find a zero-carbon fuel to power its vessels that will be built by 2030. The Danish carrier said that so far, alcohol, biomethane and ammonia had been identified as the best positioned fuels to reach its zero-carbon goal.


WORLD SHIPPING

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