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MSC: LNG Not a Feasible Option due to Lack of Bunkering Facilities

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is not a viable option for container shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) due to the limited LNG bunkering facilities available at ports.

Bud Darr, MSC Group’s Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs, pointed this out at Hansa Forum held in Hamburg last week.

The event focused on what comes next after 2020. One could heard that big investments in research and development are needed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The ambitious goal set by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) to halve emissions by 2050 requires innovative solutions to meet the demand for alternative fuels and further develop low-carbon technologies to enhance ship design.

In his keynote on November 21, Darr highlighted the challenges shipowners face in meeting these goals and regulations. To comply with the new limits and the upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur cap, MSC has opted for a combination of compliant low-sulfur fuels and hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems. It recently completed a program to retrofit more than 250 ships in its existing fleet with the latest green technologies, cutting about 2 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.

“MSC’s fleet was greatly enhanced in recent years by a retrofitting programme. We have invested extensively in the latest low-carbon technologies, such as new energy-efficient propellers and bows to reduce fuel consumption and therefore improve our energy efficiency,” Darr said.

“In addition, we continuously monitor our environmental performance and have implemented a number of operational measures to further reduce our CO2 emissions to meet expected new regulations and goals set by the IMO.”

As the container shipping sector is essential for global trade and development, there is no “one size fits all” solution to decarbonize the shipping industry, according to Darr. Therefore, a diverse range of solutions is required to enable the sector to meet low-carbon ambitions by 2050.