Chinese majors set up new sustainable shipping initiative

China Classification Society (CCS) has joined forces with several major Chinese marine industry companies to launch the Sustainable Shipping Innovation and Development Initiative (SSIDI).

CCS
Credit: CCS

CCS launched SSIDI in Beijing with representatives of China Petrochemical Corporation, COSCO Shipping Co Ltd, China Merchants Energy Shipping Co Ltd and ICBC Financial Leasing Co Ltd who were among those to sign the initiative.

The partners will now work closely together to explore and research alternative fuels.

Furthermore, the initiative will include research work focused on the economy, safety, technology maturity, policies and regulations, fuel availability, market mechanism and other aspects of alternative fuels for shipping.

They will also promote clean energy safety and look at how a sustainable shipping innovation and development industry chain can be developed. The initiative is expected to strengthen members’ strategic cooperation on climate change.

“With accelerated policy making and developments to reduce shipping emissions led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), European Union and other global organisations, the industry-wide consensus is to promote the application of alternative fuels in shipping. This will lead to significant changes in the entire international shipping industry, and it will have a profound impact on all upstream and downstream industries,” CCS vice president Fan Quang said.

Quang added that it is important to recognize that amid this drive to alternative fuels there are still many uncertain factors that must be addressed.

“These include fuel supply, ship financing, technology development, and standard formulation. These are far beyond the scope of traditional shipping and require joint exploration by all parties across the entire industry chain,” he noted.

For these reasons, the Chinese shipping majors launched the SSIDI with interested parties in energy, shipping, finance and other sections of the marine sector.

“We believe this partnership and shared knowledge approach is vital and that SSIDI will play a major role in the shipping industry’s low carbon journey,” according to CCS.

Recently, IMO pointed out that decarbonizing international shipping is a priority issue and “we need all hands on deck to support the maritime sector’s energy transition”.

IMO further noted that to support the “just and equitable” transition, the shipping industry needs to overcome global barriers in accessing low- and zero-carbon marine fuels, especially with regards to demand, price and scale.

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