A study from Lloyds Register (LR) and the University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) has said zero emissions vessels (ZEVs) are likely to be technologically possible in the next few years, regardless of which zero-carbon fuel emerges as most economically viable
However, for owners and operators to be confident around future investments, the shipping industry will require confidence in the wider fuel supply chain, both in terms of availability and the land-based infrastructure for production, supply and distribution of new fuels, the report said.
Entitled Techno-economic assessment of zero-carbon fuels, the report considers three areas related to adopting zero-carbon fuels compared to traditional fossil fuels: their readiness from an investment, technology and community perspective.
UMAS principal consultant Carlo Raucci said the study considered two “essential elements” when assessing the fuel choice for decarbonising the shipping industry: the evolution of fuels production and the implications of their use on board ships.
“The answers to the strategically important question ‘what will be the future fuel for shipping?’ will require further research and analysis. In that regard, this paper provides an important contribution in answering that question,” Mr Raucci said.
The study also includes a complete examination of energy source price scenarios, ship-specific case studies, total cost of operation, fuel-related voyage costs, impact on cargo-carrying capacity and a sensitivity analysis. Finally, lifecycle emissions, and the evolution of the energy landscape in other sectors are considered.
The study is the latest from Lloyds Register and UMAS on current and future fuels available to shipping as the maritime industry seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In January 2019, LR and UMAS published Zero-Emission Vessels: Transition Pathways.