Japanese ClassNK Goes for Fuel Methanation To Meet IMO Targets

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Japanese Classification Society ClassNK is participating in the “Cross-industrial Working Group Related to Zero Emission Alternative Ship Fuels” established by the CCR (Carbon Capture & Reuse) Study Group, writes Malcolm Latarche in an article published in Ship Insight.

Also joining the group is Japanese operator MOL which plans to be among the first ship operators to make use of new fuels.

Aims & Objectives of the Group

The group aims at developing supply of alternative energy such as synthetic methane or methanol by combining industrial carbon emissions with hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. The ultimate goal is achieving effective carbon neutrality that reduces use of fossil fuels, and contributing to the creation of a new energy supply system for 2050. ClassNK will act as secretariat for the group.

Why is this needed?

In the international shipping sector, the IMO is carrying out initiatives to counter the global emission of greenhouse gas (GHG). In 2018, the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships was adopted, aiming to improve carbon intensity of the sector by at least 40% in 2030 and reduce annual GHG emissions by at least 50% in 2050, both compared to 2008 levels, and eventually phase out GHG emissions as early as possible within the century. In order to reach these goals, it is essential to make the transition over to alternative fuels which can be used with the existing power plants on ships.

Methanation, the Solution

Fuel methanation has gathered global attention as a highly expected technology for the realisation of GHG zero emission. The working group aims to implement fuel methanation for ships and construct its supply chain by collaborating with other industries, companies, and administrations, and will hold discussions/deploy initiatives for the widespread use of methanation.

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Source: Ship Insight

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