Editor's Note

KR Decarbonization Magazine

VOL.06 | Spring 2024

As IMO and EU GHG regulations continue to tighten, the biggest challenge facing the shipping industry is how to bring fossil-fuel powered ships, which account for 90% of the existing fleet, into compliance. Existing ships may face many more constraints in meeting GHG regulations than new ships. This issue focuses on solutions for existing ships to comply with GHG regulations.

The first approach is to blend biofuels with conventional fossil fuels. The IMO has already approved guidelines for the use of biofuels based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in MEPC 80, and global trials for the use of biofuels in ships are underway. Shipowners’ main concerns about biofuels are whether they can be supplied economically and at reasonable prices, and whether there are any technical problems with engines or fuel supply systems when using biofuels, and how these can be resolved. This issue comprehensively covers IMO and EU regulations on biofuels, production volumes and prices, and onshore and offshore demonstrations to address technical issues related to biofuels.

The second approach involves converting conventional fossil fuel propulsion to LNG or methanol. Generally, shipowners have to bear the cost of conversion, the reduction in cargo load due to the installation of fuel tanks and supply systems, and the loss of business during the conversion period. However, there are benefits, such as a significant reduction in carbon taxes if the remaining life of the ship is sufficient, and compliance with shippers’ ESG management. This issue focuses on shipowner trends, as well as the technical considerations and costs of converting container ships to methanol propulsion.

This issue features interviews with industry experts on topics of particular interest to readers. OCCS, a technology that directly captures carbon dioxide from exhaust gases, is of great interest to many shipowners, shipyards, and equipment companies. With active technology development and real-world demonstrations underway in Korea, company experts have discussed the current status and future prospects of OCCS technology.

With the EU ETS coming into effect from 2024, greenhouse gases have become an economic issue that requires direct payment rather than mere compliance. Therefore, the implementation of the ETS is not only a new challenge for shipowners, but also an opportunity to gain empirical experience for medium-term measures to be adopted by the IMO in the future. Considering that shipowners face many difficulties due to new regulations they have not experienced before, this issue provides easy-to-understand and detailed guidelines for ETS responses.

Inside KR presents the third party greenhouse gas reduction verification certificate issued to HMM. Currently, shippers around the world are incentivizing the reduction of GHG emissions by using environmentally friendly fuels in marine transportation to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions. Such demand from shippers is expected to explode, and KR plans to expand its third-party verification services starting with the issuance of this verification certificate. KR plans to release guidelines for ammonia-fueled ships and for ships carrying liquefied carbon dioxide, methanol, and biofuels as marine fuels this year, following the launch of ammonia-fueled ships in 2022. In addition, guidelines for electric propulsion will be published in the future, which will provide very useful information for customers. Futhermor, various activities such as AIP for ammonia fuel supply systems, company audits for the implementation of SEEMP Part III, and the publication of technical guidelines for the safe maritime transport of electric vehicles will be introduced.

The IMO MEPC is accelerating the development of mid-term measures that will shape the future of the maritime industry. Our Decarbonization Magazine will continue to monitor the development of mid-term measures and provide insights into the current status and future prospects of the industry’s efforts to achieve decarbonization, helping to collectively consider the direction of the maritime industry.

Head of KR DecarbonizationㆍShip R&D Center   SONG Kanghyun