SAFET4SEA: What are the key environmental challenges for shipping during the next 5-10 years?
Michel van Roozendaal: Lack of clarity on what decarbonisation / reducing GHG emissions in shipping means with respect to future regulations and compliance. This complicates the situation for both shipowners and industry choices on what technologies to invest in to meet requirements. A priority for MacGregor is to ensure that investments in new solutions to enhance sustainability also deliver the operating efficiencies that make them attractive in terms of payback. For example, a MacGregor Cargo Boost upgrade can add up to 15% cargo carrying capacity to the same size containership, bringing emissions reductions and increased earnings that are measurable per TEU carried.
S4S :In your view, has the industry been successful in enhancing its environmental performance? What should the next steps be?
M.R: The main drivers in recent years have been to save fuel (slow steaming) as well as increasing payload (larger ships), which have had an effect in reducing emissions. These are good steps, but far from enough. The IMO roadmap for environmental regulation has consistently improved the energy efficiency of newbuild ships, with one of the next near term actions to be decided relating to the development of an energy efficiency index for existing ships.
The IMO has also announced a greenhouse gas reduction strategy with an aim that total annual GHG emissions from international shipping should be reduced by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, as a pathway to ultimately zero GHG emissions .Forerunners and industry collaboration will be needed to develop and demonstrate solutions that will materially improve environmental performance. Navigation and port call optimisation (‘Just in Time’), electrification and digitalisation are some examples of enablers that can improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
S4S :How will new trends, technologies, ideas and practices influence our long-term ambitions and the way in which we achieve them?
M.R: Shipowners will continue to need practical solutions that make a positive contribution to their operations both economically and environmentally, particularly within a continuing financially constrained operating environment. Whilst recognising capital investment cost pressures when making purchase decisions, less short-term thinking and more consideration of lifetime value and profitability is required. New sustainability-focused technologies will come at a cost to develop, with the companies leading and participating in this work needing to realise acceptable returns on the R&D investments required.
S4S: If you could change one thing that would have a profound or immediate impact on environmental performance across the industry, what would this be and why?
M.R: Measure emissions (CO2e) per ton/teu of cargo carried and create incentives for fully loaded ships, which would reduce the need for excess transportation capacity and accelerate the removal of older ships. Making this information visible to cargo owners and global corporation supply chains would also provide an ability to select the most sustainable transportation type for their operations, aligned to achievement of their own climate related targets.
S4S :What is your organisation doing differently in order to prepare for a more sustainable future?
M.R: We are continuing to support MacGregor customers through the development, installation and service of intelligent, environmentally sustainable solutions that optimise and increasingly electrify cargo and load handling operations. We are applying our extensive oil & gas experience and transferable technologies to support the growth of the offshore wind and renewable energy industries. Our parent company, Cargotec, has committed its support to the United Nations Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C, the aim of which is to pursue science-based measures to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
S4S: What is your key message to industry stakeholders with respect to the forthcoming stringent environmental regulations?
M.R: We need to accelerate investment in more efficient and environmentally sustainable cleaner technologies and their adoption in maritime operations. This is only the start of the transformation journey towards a more sustainable industry, and the public and regulatory pressure to do so will only increase.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.
Michel van Roozendaal is President at MacGregor