Shipping line MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and oil firm Shell have partnered up to speed up the decarbonization of the global shipping sector.

“The long-term memorandum of understanding will help MSC and Shell to play enhanced roles in the energy transformation of shipping, as developers and early adopters of innovative technologies and fuel solutions,” the companies said in a statement.

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.

Bud Darr, EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group, said: “MSC’s efforts to decarbonize 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 catalyze low-carbon solutions for the shipping sector.

“To reach that ultimate goal of complete decarbonization, 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,” said Darr.

Melissa Williams, President, Shell Marine, said: “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 as one of the world’s largest shipping companies with Shell’s expertise as a global energy supplier will help bring about effective solutions for this vital part of the world economy.”

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

“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 press release issued Friday reads.

The partners are also exploring options such as hydrogen-derived fuels and the use of methanol as a marine fuel. 

“Both companies each have been exploring the significant potential benefits of progressing from fossil-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) to bio-LNG or synthetic variants. Together, the partners will 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,” the companies said.

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