Stena Bulk announced the results of a recent partnership with the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to study and explore the potential of capturing carbon at the point of exhaust from large commercial vessels.
To support the feasibility study into their use, Stena Bulk initially provided data from three vessels in its fleet; a medium range (MR) oil/chemical tanker and a Suezmax crude oil tanker that are currently running on heavy fuel oil (HFO), and an LNG carrier fuelled by LNG.
The information that Stena Bulk provided to support the study included key vessel technical information like deck space, fuel use, the availability of heat and energy in the exhaust stream, as well as wider considerations such as if the vessels were technically representative of the wider global fleet.
The results of the study also show that carbon capture and storage is technically feasible on a large tanker. The biggest challenge, the study found was likely to be cost of installation and operation, with storage tanks, compressors, and other equipment generating a large upfront CapEx barrier.
Operating expenses would also increase, the study found, because of the energy required to use the CCS system effectively.
However, the study found that these costs could be substantially reduced if the engine was adapted for compatibility with carbon capture and storage.
The study concluded these costs were likely to be a hurdle to deployment of CCS in the near and medium term, but that as the technology improves and becomes cheaper to operate, it could be a persuasive option for the industry’s decarbonisation trajectory.
Wider context could influence this as well, with commodity prices for captured carbon dioxide potentially offsetting some of the costs for owners and operators, the study added.
Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk, said:
We think that it’s right that the industry is honest about the challenges it faces from a technical and commercial perspective on the pathway to decarbonisation. This study proves once again that there is no silver bullet solution to meet the IMO’s climate targets, and that we must promote and adopt a wide variety of proven and commercially sensible solutions if we are to successfully decarbonise
Furthermore, Dr. Michael Traver, Transport Workstream Chair for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, mentioned that extending and adapting CCS to marine vessels “poses unique challenges, but also represents a great opportunity to reduce emissions from a difficult to abate sector within transportation.”
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