The path to decarbonizing the maritime industry

Participation in COP26
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries participated in the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) held in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and showcased MHI’s initiatives to combat climate change, which is a global challenge. At COP26. MHI exhibited at the Japan Pavilion at COP26 organized by the Ministry of the Environment. Specifically, MHI introduced as Japan’s leading environmental technologies, “Hydrogen Gas Turbine Technology for Decarbonization of Thermal Power Generation” and “MHI Initiatives for Building CO2 Ecosystem and of a CO2 capture technology”. The MHI Group has made the “Mission Net Zero” statement towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, calling on the Group’s commitment to continue to engage in efforts to transition to the use of green energy towards achieving a carbon-neutral society of the future by mobilizing the technologies and resources that the Group has developed to date.

MHI Group’s efforts to decarbonize the maritime industry were exemplified by video messages titled “Call to Action” from MHI-MME President Hori and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding (MHI-MSB) President , Kitamura, on the site of the Sustainable Innovation Forum, which was installed next to the main venue of COP26.
The video messages outlined MHI’s long-term vision and strategy for achieving carbon neutrality in the marine industry.

In addition, since there can be no delay in reducing CO2 emissions, measures that can be provided immediately as short-term measures have been introduced.
As environmental awareness increases globally, the use of LNG-powered ships, with their reduced environmental footprint, is also being promoted around the world. While the use of LNG as a marine fuel helps reduce CO2 emissions, one problem has been that some of the unburned methane in the fuel is expelled into the air (i.e. methane slip ).
Methane is a GHG that has a greater impact on global warming than CO2.
However, in an effort to reduce GHG emissions, measures to reduce methane leakage have progressed, then after the transition to carbon neutral fuel, the scenario now becomes more realistic and achievable in a long-term perspective.
MHI Group’s commitment to making a global contribution, not only on land but also in the maritime industry, has been solicited.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the ICM stand at COP26

In addition, many events related to the decarbonization of the maritime industry were held during COP26.
On November 8, a roundtable was held under the theme: Decarbonizing shipping in line with the Paris Agreement, what will it take? Representatives of the maritime industry as well as companies involved in decarbonization technologies participated in the discussion. Things were discussed such as, in order to make progress towards the 2050 target, how far would we be able to progress by 2030 in adopting technology and preparing infrastructure, including the manufacture and storage of alternative fuels; what is the role of regulation?, and moreover, what should be the thinking about incentives, etc., for early entrants who will challenge them? MHI Group was represented by Kentaro Hosomi, Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa and CEO of MHI-EMEA, who presented, from a cross-industry and global industry perspective, the importance of technologies and systems that can be introduced at this time.

Personnel sent to the MMM Center Zero Carbon Shipping
Since 2020, the MHI Group has participated in the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMM Center) as a founding partner. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the MMM Center is a survey and research organization for the promotion of the decarbonisation of the maritime industry. In addition to MHI, 19 strategic partners and 8 knowledge partners are collaborating, focusing on the development of alternative fuels and their supply chains as well as new technologies for systems to be installed on ships, in the aim of achieving the decarbonisation of maritime transport. industry by 2050. The MMM Center started with 15 people working as members when it was established in 2020. It has now grown into an organization with over 60 people working as members, and it is expected to become a large organization with over 100 people. working as members by early next year. MHI-MME was to send staff to the MMM center last spring, but had been forced to participate in remote meetings for some time due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. However, with some decrease in infections, Chief Engineer Koichi Matsushita took up his post at the MMM Center in November last year (Deputy Director Sato of MHI-MSB also took up his post there in February of this year.) In this issue, we’ll take a look at what it’s like out there as well as CIM’s activities.

Greetings from Koichi Matsushita, General Manager, on taking office
I arrived at my mission at the MMM Center (Copenhagen, Denmark) in November last year. I had been working in London since 2018 as the General Manager of the Head Office of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe, Ltd., and this assignment in Denmark is my second consecutive overseas assignment after the UK. Last winter, the number of new COVID-19 infections increased. also in Denmark, with the highest incidence rate in Europe per capita. COVID-19 restrictions were eased in February this year and ordinary economic activities resumed. The MMM Center is now beginning to energetically engage in activities. Engineers from companies from various countries, who are involved in the development of technology related to marine fuel, including its manufacture and transportation, as well as technologies installed on ships, are gathered at the MMM Center.

Here, engineers bring the knowledge of their respective area of ​​specialization to the table to solve various problems related to decarbonization. The sight of us – who would normally be divided into different positions, whether as customer and supplier or as competitors – engaged in discussions as partners is very strange. However, it shows that decarbonization is a major challenge that cannot be achieved without bringing technologies together from different fields and from industry as a whole. It’s not just the technology that’s discussed here. European authorities are called upon, with the decarbonisation classification societies involved, to create mechanisms. People with various backgrounds in public relations also came to the Center. I will be working hard right now on the decarbonization project at this new location as well as creating a new decarbonization business for our company.
Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co., Ltd.