MSC’s Plan to Develop a Multi-Fuel Shipping Fleet: An Interview with Company Officials

Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is building a fleet capable of using different types of fuel to enable the company to meet customers’ and regulatory demands for low-carbon maritime transportation, according to Bud Darr, MSC’s executive vice president for maritime policy and government affairs. Shipping is responsible for 2%-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and relies on oil-based fuels for energy. The industry requires a new generation of zero- and low-emission vessels to become carbon neutral. Darr notes that the industry will require a “solution set” of fuels, rather than just a single option. As such, MSC has approached production companies to ensure that supply chains for the fuels can be established. MSC currently operates the world’s largest containership fleet via Mediterranean Shipping. Of the 124 cruiseships and boxships, 84 can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil-based fuels. MSC’s dual-fuel vessels could potentially run on bio-and synthetic LNG for decarbonisation when the fuels become available. The shipping group has also highlighted that hydrogen and biofuels are among the options for future fuel mixes. Darr also noted that costs would find a way into the market one way or another and would eventually find their way down to customers, but GHG regulations on ship operators and cargo owners could accelerate the pace of decarbonisation.

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