Qiyao Enviro’s onboard carbon capture tech validated on Wan Kwong’s ships

Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, a Hong Kong shipowner, and Qiyao Environmental Technology (Qiyao Environ Tec), a subsidiary of Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, have secured an approval in principle from Bureau Veritas (BV) for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project onboard two Wah Kwong vessels.

The AiP follows a joint study led by BV, Wah Kwong and Qiyao Environ Tec, which validated the technical feasibility of using CCS technology on existing vessels as a measure to ensure compliance with the IMO’s Carbon Intensity regulation. 

The analysis focused on two bulk carriers in Wah Kwong’s fleet and assessed the viability of using CCS technology to upgrade those vessels’ CII ratings. 

Based on the specific design parameters of the vessels, Qiyao Environ Tec developed a customised design of a CCS unit for the two vessels. The CCS unit has passed laboratory tests, achieving over 85% CO2 capture from the exhaust gas flow, and is being continuously optimised and upgraded. The system is based on an organic amine solution which extracts CO2 from exhaust gas, before it is cooled into liquid form and stored in a low temperature storage tank.

The study showed that CCS enabled the two vessels to remain compliant by upgrading and maintaining their CII rating at a C level until 2030, BV said. It considered all aspects of retrofit space, operational impact, CAPEX and OPEX, as well as the upcoming EU ETS, to assess the future investment and revenue expectations for each vessel.

BV supported the project from vessel selection in the early stages of the project, to the design layout of the CCS system on board, certification and cost analysis. The classification society reviewed the plans according to existing regulations and rules to ensure the safety of the vessels and equipment, and validate that the carbon emission reduction targets are effectively achieved during the operation of the vessels.

The project aims to support the future commercial application of CCS technology in the maritime sector, providing a clear analysis to guide decision-making by ship owners and related parties, especially for older vessels in operation.

“With regulations such as the IMO’s CII and the EU ETS coming into force for shipping, it is essential to ensure compliance and to reduce the carbon footprint of existing vessels for years to come. Carbon capture and storage technology is one of the net-zero solutions currently available,” Hing Chao, Executive Chairman of Wah Kwong, said.

Image credit BV

“Wah Kwong takes a holistic approach to sustainability and is proud to work with Bureau Veritas and Qiyao Environmental Technology on this pioneering application of CCS for the maritime sector, which is now validated with the issuance of an AiP. We hope this would encourage further studies or advance implementation of the CCS technology.” 

“Carbon capture and storage technology has been available for several decades, notably in industrial projects on shore, but only recently have we started to deploy its considerable potential for the maritime industry,” Jianfu DONG, President at Shanghai Qiyao Environmental Technology Co. Ltd., said.

“We are proud to receive this Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas, which confirms the viability of our carbon capture technology as a retrofit solution to reduce CO2 emissions from existing ships. Our hope is that this innovative project will also help spur the development and implementation of CCS technology in shipping more broadly.”

“In an era of fast-evolving regulations and technology, the independent expertise of classification societies will help shipowners identify the best solutions for their ships, taking into account the practicalities of fleet operations. This project is a great example of collaboration, with all parties coming together to ensure the safe development and deployment of technology that will support more sustainable shipping,” Alex Gregg-Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Executive, North Asia and China at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said.