Shipping Industry Faces Fuel Problems In The Path To Decarbonise

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

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The shipping industry is grappling with mounting pressure to reduce its carbon footprint, yet navigating the path to decarbonization is riddled with challenges. One of the significant hurdles when it comes to the issue- Shipping Industry faces fuel problems, is the lack of clear regulatory guidelines, leaving executives uncertain about which cleaner fuels large vessels should adopt.

At the forefront of this issue is the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the regulatory body overseeing the global shipping industry. Calls for implementing charges on greenhouse gas emissions from the sector are amplifying, urging the IMO to take decisive action.

Shipping Industry faces fuel problems, the lack of regulatory clarity poses significant challenges. While efforts are underway to outline a net-zero framework, the path forward remains uncertain.

IMO’s Net-Zero Framework Takes Shape Amidst Uncertainty

Following the conclusion of its 81st meeting, the IMO’s Maritime Environment Protection Committee has tentatively outlined a framework aimed at achieving net-zero emissions. However, this draft framework, which may include fuel standards and emissions pricing, remains subject to ongoing discussions. The final decision is expected to be made at the group’s next meeting in September.

During discussions at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, industry executives emphasized the importance of transitioning to cleaner burner fuels. However, the reluctance among many stakeholders stems from the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework that provides clarity on the long-term trajectory.

Complexities in Fuel Selection Heighten Industry Concerns

The current fuel of choice for most large ships is very low-sulphur fuel oil, prized for its affordability and energy density. Yet, amidst calls for decarbonization, the industry faces a conundrum in selecting from a range of alternative fuels such as hydrogen-carriers, methanol, ammonia, biodiesel, or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

With vessel engines typically designed to operate on a specific type of fuel and an average lifespan of 25 years, committing to a less established, low-carbon fuel poses considerable risks. Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding fuel and technology is driving up costs as companies are compelled to invest across multiple options.

Seonghoon Woo, CEO of Amogy, which specializes in zero-emission ammonia-fueled power systems, highlighted the broader demand for cleaner marine fuels beyond the shipping industry. As countries across Asia seek to transition away from coal in power generation, the competition for cleaner fuels intensifies.

As the Shipping Industry faces fuel problems, the lack of regulatory clarity poses significant challenges. While efforts are underway to outline a net-zero framework, the path forward remains uncertain. Executives stress the urgency of transitioning to cleaner fuels, but without clear guidance, hesitation prevails. Amidst this uncertainty, the industry faces complexities in selecting the most suitable low-carbon alternatives. As stakeholders await further developments, the need for a cohesive regulatory framework becomes increasingly pressing to drive sustainable change in the global shipping sector.

Also Read: USA Relaxes Tailpipe Regulations, Slowing EV Transition Through 2030

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