Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), one of the biggest shipowners in the world, has moved towards using synthetic methane in a bid to have zero-emission fleets.
MOL has joined the Carbon Capture & Reuse (CCR) Study Group and launched the Cross-industrial Working Group Related to Zero Emission Alternative Ship Fuels.
The working group aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in international shipping’s value chains by using synthetic methane (methanation fuel) as an alternative to fossil fuel, the current mainstream fuel for merchant vessels.
Synthetic methane is generated by methanation technology that combines CO2 with renewable energy-derived hydrogen.
In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which studies measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international shipping, set the environmentally-friendly goals for the industry.
The goals are to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% per unit of transport by 2030, and total GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008, and to zero GHG emissions as early as possible in this century.
European countries and Japanese power and gas companies are paying increased attention to methanation fuel, a technology with the potential to realize zero emissions.
MOL aims to introduce methanation fuel for ships and establish a supply chain by launching the working group, and will engage in study and promotion of the fuel in cooperation with other industries, other companies, and government agencies.
The CCR Study group was established with the objectives of proposing effective carbon neutral measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
The group proposed that the reduction can be achieved by offering alternative energies such as synthetic methane, which is generated by combining CO2 generated by industries with renewable energy-derived hydrogen, and contributing to the establishment of new energy supply system by 2050.