Ship operators Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Shell International Petroleum Company Limited (Shell) have agreed to work closely together to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the global shipping sector. The long-term memorandum of understanding will help MSC and Shell to play enhanced roles in the energy transformation of shipping, as developers and early adopters of innovative technologies and fuel solutions.
The companies plan to develop a range of safe, sustainable and competitive technologies that can reduce emissions from existing assets and help to enable a net-zero emissions future for shipping.
Bud Darr, EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group, said, “MSC’s efforts to decarbonise include strong partnerships with a range of companies across the industry. This partnership with Shell is a great example of the type of commitment that is needed to catalyse low-carbon solutions for the shipping sector. To reach that ultimate goal of complete decarbonisation, we must look at a set of solutions. We need significant advances in research and development and fuel development. MSC welcomes partnerships like this with Shell that are designed to facilitate cross-sector information sharing and prove how collaboration is key in defining the best pathway to a net-zero future”.
Melissa Williams, President, Shell Marine, said, “Shell wants to play a central role in the transition to net zero. Partnering with our customers to develop new technologies and fuels will help accelerate progress. Combining MSC’s experience as one of the world’s largest shipping companies with Shell’s expertise as a global energy supplier will help bring about effective solutions for this vital part of the world economy.”
Shell and MSC have worked together over the last 10 years on projects, including bunkering biofuels and trialling very and ultra-low sulphur fuels.
MSC and Shell technical and commercial teams will collaborate to develop and deploy net-zero solutions such as zero-emission fuels of the future and the technologies that will enable them, including fuel cells, with the ambition of contributing towards a zero-carbon flexi-fuel concept vessel. They will also work together on energy efficiency technologies, including digital services and platforms.
The partners continue to envisage a range of fuel solutions on the route to a net zero future and are also exploring options such as hydrogen-derived fuels and the use of methanol as a marine fuel. Both companies each have been exploring the significant potential benefits of progressing from fossil-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) to bio-LNG or synthetic variants. Together, the partners will explore opportunities for MSC to use LNG in its fleet, as the lowest emissions fuel widely available today. They will also consider future pathways, including methane-slip abatement technologies that will further bring down LNG’s emissions.
The partnership also offers an opportunity for Shell and MSC to work together to engage the industry and its stakeholders on strategic policy issues, bringing their dual perspectives with the purpose of enabling constructive dialogue and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.