MOL, DP World team up on clean fuels for maritime and port-based applications

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and UAE-based ports and logistics giant DP World have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities to enhance auto logistics capabilities at Jebel Ali Port and reduce carbon emissions in port and maritime applications in the UAE and beyond.


As part of this agreement, the companies will conduct feasibility studies for business opportunities related to stocking, enhancing, and strategically redistributing fully assembled cars through Jebel Ali Port.

The decarbonization component of the new cooperation will center on developing the regional market for clean fuels for maritime and port-based applications, and other related decarbonization business areas.

“DP World and MOL have a shared vision for sustainability and excellence in global maritime logistics and we look forward to strengthening our partnership through this MoU. With this agreement, we will combine our expertise to explore ways of enhancing the automotive supply chain and supporting decarbonization efforts for the sector in the UAE and the wider Middle East,” Abdullah bin Damithan, DPW said.

“MOL is honored to strengthen our relationship with DPW. MOL is already a major operator at Jebel Ali, and the new initiative aims at investing in facilities to further widen the scope of our operation there. It will contribute to the development of our auto logistics business in the Indian Ocean region, within which Jebel Ali is a highly efficient and modern gateway. The maritime decarbonization project fits in well with our environmental roadmap, and through it we aim to transition several hundreds of vessels calling in the region to clean fuels in coming years, and to grow clean marine fuel supply chains in the GCC and beyond,” Ajay Singh, MOL said.

In a separate statement, DP World Marine Services informed that it reduced its carbon footprint by more than 16% in 2023 from its 2019 baseline of 2,118 ktCO2e by creating efficiencies across its operations. 

Guided by DP World’s ‘Our World, Our Future’ strategy and its ambitious decarbonization targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050, the company’s Marine Services business comprised of subsidiary companies including Unifeeder, P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters utilizes a multimodal network of land and sea transport, focuses on optimizing operations through advanced technologies and fostering industry partnerships to drive transformative change to reduce emissions. 

Much of the reduction came from optimizing its vessels’ routes and scheduling to ensure full utilization and reduced idling time. Creating more efficient deployment networks – with vessels traveling along more direct, shorter routes– also lead to a reduction of wasted nautical miles traveled and lowered fuel consumption, according to the company.

Marine Services has outlined a comprehensive strategy to further reduce its carbon footprint, with a targeted 25% reduction by 2030. This includes: 

  • A 12% efficiency enhancement of its existing vessel fleet, through practices such as hull coating and hull cleaning, 
  • A 5% contribution from the introduction of biofuels, replacing fossil fuels, 
  • The introduction of roughly 20 new vessels to replace older, less efficient vessels, contributing 8% to the reduction goal. 

Other key projects include Unifeeder’s long-term time-charter agreement for four methanol-capable container feeder vessels, and P&O Ferries’ hybrid-electric vessels, which are expected to increase efficiencies by 40%. 

Jesper Kristensen, Group Chief Operating Officer of DP World Marine Services, stressed the significance of the emissions reduction this year, stating “it is our responsibility to find and implement sustainable ways of reducing our footprint, while we continue to keep communities around the world connected to global trade.” 

“While we are also doing our part to explore alternative fuels, we must not forget to also focus on optimising our operational processes, harnessing advanced technologies, and implementing best practices across our fleet. By prioritising efficiency enhancements, we not only reduce our carbon footprint but also create new industry standards,” he added. 

As global leaders gather in Dubai for COP28, public and private stakeholders are looking at the world’s largest companies to make measurable, tangible changes to their business practices that result in CO2 reductions. DP World’s wider decarbonisation target of becoming a carbon-neutral business 2040 and net-zero by 2050. 

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