johan sverdrup offshore field

Norway’s Equinor Sets Maritime Climate Ambitions

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 66
June 8, 2020

The shore-powered Johan Sverdrup offshore field. Photo: Espen Ronnevik / Oyvind Gravas – Equinor ASA

Norwegian energy firm Equinor is seeking to halve its global emissions from maritime shipping by 2050 and will work towards developing and promoting zero-emission ship fuel as part of a strategy to reduce its contribution to climate change.

The company on Monday released its level of ambition for reducing its own emissions from ships and how the company will contribute to the decarbonization of maritime shipping in the future.

As both a producer and a supplier of fuel to the maritime sector, Equinor is involved in extensive maritime activity around the world including having around 175 vessels on contract with the company at any giving time.

“As a producer and user of maritime fuel, Equinor has a good opportunity to help decarbonise shipping. From our position on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), we will develop new solutions contributing to substantial emission reductions together with the maritime industry in Norway and internationally,” says Irene Rummelhoff, Equinor’s executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP).

Specifically, Equinor’s goal is to halve its maritime emissions in Norway by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and halve its global emissions by 2050 compared to 2008. In terms of fuel, Equinor hopes to escalate its production and use of low-carbon fuels by 2030, and aims to “strongly increase” the production and use of zero-emission fuels by 2050.

Equinor’s level of ambition appears to be in-line with the goals of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for global shipping and the goals set by Norwegian authorities.

Equinor has already been working on reducing its carbon intensity by developing new types of vessels and using alternative fuels in close collaboration with the industry. For example, the has been a pioneer in using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel, and during 2021 it will introduce large-scale use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a fuel. A new hybrid battery system has also been introduced for 19 supply vessels on contract with Equinor on the NCS, and the next generation of dual-fuel vessels is being introduced to the fleet continuously. The company has also, in collaboration with the maritime industry, started developing the world’s first supply vessel to run on zero-emission ammonia.

“Equinor will play an important role in developing new zero-emission fuels for ships, such as hydrogen and ammonia, in combination with carbon capture and storage. As a major maritime player and a producer of maritime fuels we can help establish new value chains in the sector, for example by pilot projects together with other players. We see this as an exciting business opportunity that fits the company’s strategy and technological advantages as well as Norway’s role as a laboratory for new maritime technology,” says Rummelhoff.

“A successful development of zero-emission fuels for the maritime sector will require close collaboration between the industry, shipowners, technology suppliers, international organizations and authorities. If we succeed, we will achieve a zero-emission shipping industry and contribute to a more sustainable use of the world oceans,” says Kjetil Johnsen, vice president for the shipping, ship technology and vetting unit.

“From 2015, Equinor has gradually renewed its tanker fleet, which is an important contribution to reaching Equinor’s ambitions. We expect the total carbon intensity for the tanker fleet to be reduced by 45% in 2025, compared to 2008,” says Johnsen.

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