Wartsila Pioneers Marine Carbon Capture For Shipping’s Green Transition

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  • Finnish tech firm Wartsila is set to introduce a marine carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, aiming for quick paybacks to accelerate the shipping industry’s decarbonization pace.
  • With sea trials planned this summer on an LPG carrier in partnership with shipowner Solvang, Wartsila’s CCS system, combined with a scrubber, promises a carbon capture cost of Eur50-70/mtCO2.
  • The system could potentially help shipping companies reduce carbon charges while burning high-sulfur fuel oil, contributing to meeting the International Maritime Organization’s 2040 climate targets.

As the shipping industry seeks innovative solutions to meet tightening greenhouse gas emission regulations, Finnish technology firm Wartsila is set to revolutionize the sector with its marine carbon capture and storage (CCS) system. The system, undergoing onshore testing for two years, will enter sea trials this summer aboard an LPG carrier in collaboration with shipowner Solvang.

Wartsila’s CCS System Details

Combined Approach: Wartsila’s CCS system will be integrated with a scrubber, removing sulfur oxides before capturing carbon dioxide, providing a comprehensive emissions reduction solution.

Cost Efficiency: Wartsila estimates a competitive carbon capture cost of Eur50-Eur70/mtCO2 ($54-$76/mtCO2), inclusive of capital and operating expenses.

Financial Benefits: Users of the CCS-capable scrubber could potentially reduce costs related to carbon charges, choosing cheaper high-sulfur fuel oil while benefiting from the carbon capture technology.

Rapid Market Entry: Sigurd Jenssen, Wartsila’s director for exhaust treatment, expresses the company’s commitment to a swift market entry, aiming to launch the product next year. The system has garnered significant interest for both retrofitting existing vessels and installing on newbuilds.

Industry Impact

Accelerated Decarbonization: The introduction of Wartsila’s CCS system offers a practical pathway for the shipping industry to accelerate its decarbonization efforts, aligning with the International Maritime Organization’s ambitious climate target for 2040.

Market Dynamics: Wartsila foresees a surge in demand for CCS-capable scrubbers, potentially surpassing 6,000 installations by 2030, reshaping the industry’s landscape compared to the reference case of 4,500 installations.

Challenges and Considerations

Storage and Disposal: Challenges related to the storage and disposal of captured carbon, especially on longer voyages, present hurdles for prospective users.

Regulatory Landscape: Regulatory uncertainties, including the evaluation of carbon capture for emissions trading systems and FuelEU Maritime regulation, pose challenges that require alignment across different mechanisms and regulations.

Wartsila’s innovative approach to combining a CCS system with a scrubber signifies a pivotal development in the quest for greener shipping solutions. As the industry awaits the results of sea trials and navigates regulatory landscapes, Wartsila’s initiative marks a significant step towards achieving sustainability in maritime transportation.

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Source: SP Global