Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, and oil companies have signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low-carbon future.
Thirteen companies have signed up to launch the GIA, under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, a Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Program-International Maritime Organization (IMO) project aimed at supporting developing countries to implement energy efficiency measures for shipping.
The GIA partners will collectively identify and develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures.
The initiative will focus on areas including energy efficiency technologies and operational best practices, alternative fuels and digitalisation. Activities likely to be undertaken or promoted by the Alliance will include research and development, the showcasing of advances in technology development and positive initiatives by the maritime sector.
In his GIA launch speech, IMO secretary general Kitack Lim said the new alliance would help shipping to make its contribution towards greenhouse gas reduction and the mitigation of climate change, a key target for the United Nations under its sustainable development goals.
One of the 13 companies taking part is technical consultancy Ricardo, whose director of industrial engines Simon Brewster said: “I believe Ricardo can make an extremely valuable contribution to the work of the Alliance.” He went on to suggest that Ricardo’s engine expertise would “help deliver new levels of energy efficiency and low emissions in the marine transport system of the future.”
Speaking to Marine Propulsion, Mr Brewster described Ricardo's approach to the initiative as "technology- and fuel-agnostic", meaning that all engine technologies will be considered, although he acknowledged that "the diesel engine is not going anywhere for the forseeable future".
Shipowners are also represented in the initiative, with the MSC Group playing a key role. Diego Aponte, MSC’s president and chief executive, said: “Our group strategy focuses on the continuous improvement of our environmental performance. We firmly believe that this initiative led by the IMO can make a tangible impact on the long-term sustainability performance of our industry.”
MSC has achieved extensive reductions in its CO2 emissions, having cut them by 6.6 per cent per cargo mile in 2016. This was achieved by a range of activities, including a US$250 million investment in vessel retrofitting.
MSC Cruises announced earlier this year a multi-billion euro commitment to develop and build its new World-class ships with LNG propulsion. This initiative is expected to produce ships with approximately 20 per cent lower carbon emissions when compared with conventional cruise ships of a similar size.
The thirteen companies that have formally committed to become founding members of the GIA are:
ABB Engineering (Shanghai) Ltd; DNV GL SE; Lloyd's Register EMEA; MarineTraffic; MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA; Ricardo UK; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd; Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited; Silverstream Technologies; Stena AB; Wärtsilä Corporation; Total Marine Fuels; and Winterthur Gas & Diesel.