New Study Finds Port Readiness Key To Onboard Carbon Capture


  • Infrastructure and procedures for handling captured carbon dioxide (CO2) at ports are currently inadequate.
  • Defining clear pathways to offload, utilise, and/ or sequester CO2, is crucial for large-scale commercialisation of onboard carbon capture and storage.

A landmark study by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), in collaboration with Lloyd’s Register and ARUP, has identified low port readiness as a major hurdle bottlenecking the adoption of onboard carbon capture.

Lack suitable port infrastructure

The report found that a of lack suitable port infrastructure is the main obstacle to Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) adoption, which has seen a surge of interest over the last two years as stakeholders in the maritime value chain seek to limit their carbon emissions.

The report ‘Concept study to offload onboard captured CO2’ found:

  • While a limited number of ports possess the infrastructure to offload liquefied CO2 (LCO2), they are primarily designed to handle food-grade CO2. The higher purity standards that accompany this use limits the interoperability of facilities to handle onboard captured CO2
  • Captured CO2 in its liquefied form is likely the most efficient and cost-effective option for onboard storage and transport
  • Ship-to-Ship and Ship-to-Shore transfers using an intermediate LCO2 receiving vessel as the most promising modalities for offloading at scale, with captured CO2 eventually sequestered or used as feedstock for manufacturing synthetic fuels
  • Ship-to-Terminal transfer of captured CO2 stored in ISO tank containers is most compatible with existing port infrastructure and therefore easier to pilot today

Feasibility of OCCS

Complementing GCMD’s Project REMARCCABLE (Realising Maritime Carbon Capture to demonstrate the Ability to Lower Emissions) this offloading study addresses the feasibility of OCCS as a practicable, end-to-end solution at scale. For OCCS systems to be operationally feasible, the industry needs to develop a collaborative ecosystem to enable the value chain for managing captured CO2.

The study examines over ten planned LCO2 related infrastructure projects worldwide projects which are likely to handle much larger volumes of captured CO2 than that from OCCS systems. These examples highlight how port infrastructure needed for offloading, storing and transporting onboard captured CO2 will likely need to be integrated with these projects for economies of scale.

The study also investigates the concepts for safe offloading of LCO2 alongside the safety considerations for its onward handling.

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Source: Lloyd’s Register