A group of leading shipping industry players are taking the next step to develop new fuel types and technologies by launching the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping.
The founding company partners behind this initiative are ABS, AP Møller-Mærsk, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Siemens Energy.
The centre, which will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark, is made possible by a start-up donation of DKK400m by the AP Møller Foundation.
“With this donation, The AP Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping," explained Ane Uggla, chairman of the board at the AP Møller Foundation.
"My father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than seven decades. He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already in the 1980s he championed the use of low sulphur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990s to minimise the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my father’s name will be connected to the centre.”
The centre will be a non-profit organisation, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research centre, it will work across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and authorities.
A highly specialised, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonisation pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonising fuels and powering technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable transformation.
To define the strategic direction of the center, a board of directors is being established. Søren Skou, chief executive of Mærsk, has been confirmed as a board member, while additional members will be announced upon appointment.
“The founding partners and the AP Møller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonise the shipping industry," said Skou. "The establishment of the centre is a quantum leap towards realising that ambition.
"This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies," he noted. "I am looking forward to joining the board of this ambitious collaboration.”
The founding partner companies bring a common commitment to decarbonising shipping and specialised knowledge and research capabilities.
Furthermore, the founding partners will donate expert people resources and/or testing platforms to support the operations. The Center expects to attract several more partner companies in the future.
During the first two to three years the centre will recruit around 100 employees to the Copenhagen-based office and collaborate with new partners across the globe. The founding partner companies have committed one-third of the needed staff, the remaining two-thirds will be recruited independently.
In addition to leadership and administration, the Center staff will include subject matter experts in energy, fuels and ship technology as well as regulatory affairs, finance and the global energy transition.
The shipping sector accounts for around 3 per cent of global carbon emissions. The industry has made a firm commitment to reduce this to zero within this century. Short-term measures related to increased energy efficiency is enabling a 40 per cent relative reduction by 2030.