Continued from previous pageThe company made its statement at COP 24 — the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place in Katowice, Poland this week.
Maersk said it has reduced CO2 emissions by using 46 percent less fuel to move a container the same distance than it did in 2007 and that is approximately 9 percent better than the industry average.
“As world trade and thereby shipping volumes will continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil-based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them,” it said.
“The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonization in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains,” says Søren Toft, chief operating officer at A.P. Moller - Maersk.
Ole Graa Pedersen, head of fleet technology at Maersk, said, “The challenge of reaching carbon neutrality is on one level a business and societal imperative that must be met whilst at the same time an invitation to collaborate in innovative ways to deliver solutions we cannot yet envisage. It is very important at this stage not to rule out any solutions. There are several promising technologies at various stages of development. We are already exploring the potential universe of fossil and non-fossil fuels as the solution may come from a breakthrough fuel or from a mixture of a number of solutions and pathways.
“There have been a lot of advancements in green energy over the past decade. Maersk is putting its efforts towards finding solutions specific to maritime transport, as it requires different solutions than automotive, rail and aviation. We need to take a step towards low-carbon drop-in fuels and move towards carbon neutral solutions through different technology and vessel systems,” said Pedersen. “We will have stringent checks and balances in place to ensure that the biofuels are sustainably harvested and produced, with a specific focus on second- and third-generation biofuels that do not compete with global food supply. Solutions will come with benefits and challenges to be overcome and only by actively partnering, collaborating and undertaking research and development will we know which ones will win out. Some solutions we have piloted or are in progress of planning pilots for others we are closely following research developments.”
The company noted becoming carbon neutral is a steep challenge for the shipping industry.
“The yet-to-come electric truck is expected to be able to carry a maximum of two TEU and is projected to run 800 kilometers per charging. In comparison, a container vessel carrying thousands of TEU sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8,800 kilometers. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovative developments are imperative.
“The next five to 10 years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonized solutions. Over the last four years, we have invested around $1 billion and engaged 50-plus engineers each year in developing and deploying energy efficient solutions. Going forward we cannot do this alone,” said Toft.
“Research and development is key to take the industry away from today’s fossil based technology and by setting this ambitious target, Maersk hopes to generate a pull towards researchers, technology developers, investors, cargo owners and legislators that will activate strong industry involvement, co-development and sponsorship of sustainable solutions that we are yet to see in the maritime industry,” the company added.