Photo: Illustration. Courtesy of Lloyd's Register

Silk Alliance to set up green corridor cluster driven by fuel transition

Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, a joint initiative between LR Group and Foundation, and partners have launched ‘The Silk Alliance’ to develop a green corridor cluster starting with intra-Asia container trade.

The project will see LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub working with eleven cross-supply chain stakeholders to develop a fleet fuel transition strategy that can enable the establishment of a highly scalable green corridor cluster.

Initiated by the LR’s centre, the alliance is named after the maritime section of the historic Silk Road and gathers a diverse group of organisations whose collaboration can advance the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.

Specifically, the Silk Alliance includes shipowners, such as MSC Shipmanagement, Pacific International Lines (PIL), Wan Hai Lines, X-Press Feeders, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp.; shipyard Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M); bunker logistical supplier Singfar International; engine manufacturer Wärtsilä; ship manager Wilhelmsen Ship Management; and financial institutions the Asian Development Bank and ING.  

As described, the alliance members will collaborate to send an aggregated demand signal for other stakeholders such as fuel providers, port operators and governments to support the green corridor cluster.  

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They will make use of their respective expertise to develop a fleet-specific fuel transition strategy for container ships operating primarily in Asia, based on the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s First Mover Framework.

This is designed to strengthen leadership and foster collaboration in the maritime industry to meet its COP26 commitments and to demonstrate tangible actions that can lower the investment risk that is currently preventing the wider uptake of sustainable carbon-neutral fuels. 

The cross-supply chain collaboration is dedicated to delivering learnings to enable safe, commercially viable and sustainable marine transport in support of the industry’s long-term strategy to decarbonise international shipping by 2050, LR states.

Decarbonisation at the core of the Silk Alliance

Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and partners welcomed the initiative and expressed their commitment to supporting the green corridor cluster.

Charles Haskell, LR’s Decarbonisation Programme manager, described the alliance as the first-of-its-kind and said: “The Silk Alliance aims to establish a fleet-specific decarbonisation strategy and green corridor implementation plan that encompasses key links in the maritime supply network which are critical to providing maritime players of all sizes with the resources to transition to carbon-neutral fuels and vessels.”

Goh Chung Hun, general manager of Fleet at PIL added: “We hope that through our participation in The Silk Alliance, we can demonstrate our commitment to decarbonising our fleet, and at the same time working with other stakeholders to establish regional green corridors for feeder shipping utilising low carbon fuel or technology.”

The shipyard partner in the Silk Alliance, Keppel O&M said it will contribute its engineering expertise in vessel design, operations and upgrading to help shipowners and managers improve the energy efficiency and carbon intensity of their fleets and operations.

“The Silk Alliance presents an opportunity for the industry to leapfrog the progress of fuel transition. We are looking forward to contributing our ship management and crewing expertise to the development of this transition strategy. We hope to aggregate the people factor calculated into the heart of this transition”, commented Carl Schou, CEO and president of Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

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