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Friday, October 2, 2020 

Shell calls for the IMO to adopt a clear trajectory to net-zero emissions by 2050 in a new report, 'Decarbonising Shipping: Setting Shell’s Course', which highlights the important role that hydrogen and fuel cells could play in achieving a decarbonised shipping sector.

Grahaeme Henderson, Global Head of Shell Shipping & Maritime, said: “The shipping industry needs to develop the new technologies, fuels and infrastructure required for a net-zero emissions sector at a pace never previously seen. This will require the determination of all of those at the forefront of this transition. We have listened to our customers and partners in the sector and we have set ourselves an ambitious course. I hope that by doing so, openly and transparently, others will be encouraged to join us and help create a net-zero emissions future for shipping.”

Shell considers the potential role of different future fuels, with an analysis pointing to hydrogen with fuel cells as the zero-emissions technology which has the greatest potential to help the shipping sector achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. But, says the report, shipping cannot simply wait for zero-emissions fuel to emerge and must look to bring down emissions as quickly as possible. A zero-emissions fuel is not likely to be available on a commercial scale globally until the 2030s. It is essential that the industry takes action to reduce emissions now with solutions available today. Efficiency gains are vital in all pathways. Solutions such as wind assist, air lubrication, advanced engine lubricants and digital optimisation technologies must all be deployed to close the gap to net-zero emissions as much as possible.

LNG can help lower greenhouse gas emissions today. From extraction to combustion LNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21% for two-stroke engines and up to 15% for medium speed engines. It can also be used with fuel cells to aid the development of this key technology.

Shell's report identifies a number of key actions that the company will take:

  • call for the IMO to adopt a clear trajectory to a net-zero emissions shipping sector by 2050;
  • develop the experience and standards for use of hydrogen in a marine environment and enable commercial deployment of hydrogen across sectors;
  • establish a consortium to develop and trial fuel cells on a commercial deep-sea vessel;
  • develop a set of performance standards for application on future new-build vessels for all ship types with the aim to deliver up to 25% emissions savings;
  • implement a programme of emissions data collection across Shell’s internationally traded time and voyage charters with the intent to publish annual carbon intensity data;
  • double Shell’s existing LNG bunkering infrastructure on key international trade routes by the mid-2020s;
  • further build the commercial case for our unique industry offering of carbon neutral lubricants through development of our nature-based solutions portfolio; and
  • collaborate deliberately and decisively with those at the leading edge of the transition in the sector in order to accelerate decarbonisation. This will include, for example, working within the Getting to Zero coalition, and developing an industry-based coalition covering the entire value chain for US and Canadian cabotage shipping operations.

Shell says there is no single technology which will achieve decarbonisation and it will be a multi-decade journey. Today, the report seeks to stimulate the opportunities and partnerships needed within the industry so Shell can be most effective in working with its customers and partners on a net-zero emissions future. The report can be download from here.

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