Port of long beach

Mediterranean Shipping Company's MSC at the Port of Long Beach in August 2019. Photo: Port of Long Beach

MSC and Shell to Work Together on Decarbonizing Shipping

Mike Schuler
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July 16, 2021

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is teaming up with Shell to develop alternative fuels and technology to help the shipping sector’s energy transition towards decarbonization.

MSC will work with Shell International Petroleum Company Limited under a long-term memorandum of understanding seeking 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.”

Specifically, the partners will aim develop and deploy “net-zero solutions” such as zero-emission fuels 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.

“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 catalyse low-carbon solutions for the shipping sector,” said Bud Darr, EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group.

“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,” Darr added.

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

“Shell wants to play a central role in the transition to net zero,” said Melissa Williams, President, Shell Marine. “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.”

MSC and Shell said they continue to envisage a range of net-zero fuel solutions and 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 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.

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