MSC joins the Hydrogen Council to help accelerate shipping’s decarbonization

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has joined the Hydrogen Council, as a steering member to foster cross-sector collaboration that will accelerate research and development related to clean hydrogen derived fuels and solutions.

The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative that brings together leading companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition.

The container shipping major said that the initiative aimed at exploring hydrogen and fuels derived from it was part of the company’s wider approach to decarbonisation which has already seen the company trial the use of biofuels as a blended marine fuel.

The company has been a strong supporter of industry partnerships that could help accelerate the development of clean hydrogen for the benefit of the entire container shipping industry.

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“MSC is actively engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to accelerate the development of clean hydrogen fuels for shipping. The future of shipping and decarbonisation will rely on strong partnerships from both the perspective of technology collaboration and procurement.

“There must be a massive injection of energy and capital into R&D efforts to bring alternative fuels and alternative propulsion technologies to the marketplace to decarbonise all industries in the longer term. Initiatives such as the Hydrogen Council provide just the right platform to accelerate R&D, as well as to facilitate cross-industry collaboration,” said Bud Darr, Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs, MSC Group.

The key challenges to overcome are mainly related to density, volume, and safe handling of hydrogen.

Speaking at a panel recently, Darr pointed out that the shipping industry has to have an open mind and look at a wide range of solutions to decarbonize, avoiding the risk of focusing on a single pathway.

“We have to manage the risks of climate change as well as our own economic investments. We think in terms of economics all the time when we make business decisions. Thereforesociety can’t afford for us to bet on one particular pathway and have it be wrong. So it’s really important we keep an open mind, have a diversity of views and be willing to move quickly once the solutions are really available at scale,” he said.

Shipping needs to make a radical shift to zero-carbon energy sources in order to reduce the sector’s total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050.

This transition requires over $1 trillion in investments to set up the necessary infrastructure and create a completely new fuel production industry.

The endeavor is even more complex having in mind that numerous technologies that are said to be those with the greatest potential are still in their early stages of development. Most notably new fuels like ammonia and hydrogen.