MSC, Shell partner up to accelerate maritime decarbonization

Swiss shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and energy giant Shell have agreed to work closely together to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the global shipping sector.

MSC and Shell International Petroleum Company Limited signed a long-term memorandum of understanding (MOU) in an effort to “play enhanced roles” in the energy transformation of shipping, as developers and early adopters of innovative technologies and fuel solutions.

Photo: MSC

Specifically, 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.

“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,” Bud Darr, EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group, commented.

“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.”

“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 … with Shell’s expertise … will help bring about effective solutions for this vital part of the world economy,” Melissa Williams, President, Shell Marine, said.

The two giants have worked together over the last 10 years on projects, including bunkering biofuels and trialling very and ultra-low sulphur fuels.

As explained, 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 are also members of the Hydrogen Council, 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.

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Both companies have been exploring the significant potential benefits of progressing from fossil-based LNG to bio-LNG or synthetic variants.

Together, the partners intend to 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.