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MSC Partners with Shell to Focus on Decarbonization Opportunities

MSC Shell decarbonization shipping maritime

Published Jul 16, 2021 6:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a unique collaboration, energy major Shell International Petroleum Company and soon to be the largest liner company in the world, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, have agreed to work closely together to help accelerate the decarbonization of the global shipping sector. The new long-term agreement is designed to enhanced the companies’ roles in the energy transformation of shipping, as developers and early adopters of new technologies and fuel solutions and build on collaborations they have undertaken over the past decade, including bunkering biofuels and trialing very and ultra-low sulfur fuels.

“To reach that ultimate goal of complete decarbonization, we must look at a set of solutions,” said Bud Darr, EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group. “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.” 

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. Their technical and commercial teams will collaborate to develop and deploy net-zero solutions, such as zero-emission fuels, and the technologies that will enable them, including fuel cells. Their goal is to contribute towards a zero-carbon flexi-fuel concept vessel. They will also work together on energy efficiency technologies, including digital services and platforms, as well as seeking to engage the industry and its stakeholders on strategic policy issues.

“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.”

The partners said they foresee a range of fuel solutions on the route to a net zero future 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 significant potential benefits of progressing from fossil-based liquefied natural gas to bio-LNG or synthetic variants. 

They plan to explore opportunities for MSC to use LNG in its fleet. They will also consider future pathways, including methane-slip abatement technologies that will further bring down LNG’s emissions.