Cargill joins new research center for decarbonizing shipping

Center to focus on developing new fuel types and technologies to accelerate industry’s commitment to decarbonize shipping by 2050.

June 26, 2020

4 Min Read
Cargill joins new research center for decarbonizing shipping

Cargill has joined leading players across the global maritime industry to launch the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping in Copenhagen, Denmark. The center will focus on developing new fuel types and technologies -- a significant action to accelerate the industry’s commitment to decarbonize shipping by 2050.

The effort is part of Cargill’s overall commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its global supply chains 30% per ton of product by 2030 (against a 2017 baseline). For its fleet of 600 chartered vessels, Cargill has reduced its aggregated gross carbon dioxide emissions by around 800,000 metric tons over the last two years by operating a more energy-efficient fleet and retrofitting energy-saving devices onboard certain vessels.

The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping has been made possible by a startup donation of 400 million Danish kroner by the A.P. Moller Foundation to help the maritime industry fulfill its ambition of zero carbon shipping. The center has seven founding partners: A.P. Moller-Maersk, ABS, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Lines and Siemens.

"The center is being established at a critical time for the maritime industry,” said Jan Dieleman, business leader for Cargill’s ocean transportation business. “Up until now, there has been extensive discussion about decarbonizing shipping and zero-carbon fuels but no real capacity to execute the necessary research, analysis and development to move forward. The generous funding offered by the A.P. Moller Foundation, combined with access to knowledge, technical expertise and networks across the entire shipping value chain that Cargill and the other founding partners will contribute, will provide that capacity to drive execution and accelerate progress.”

Ane Uggla, chairman of the board of the A.P. Moller Foundation, stated, “With this donation, the A.P. Moller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping. Maersk McKinney-Moller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than seven decades.”

Soren Skou, future board member of the center and chief executive officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk, said, “The founding partners and the A.P. Moller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonize the shipping industry. The establishment of the center is a quantum leap towards realizing that ambition. This joint initiative will fast-track the maturation of solutions and strengthen the basis for decision making among industry players and regulators and hence accelerate investments and implementation of new technologies.”

At the center, Cargill will look to increase the viability and scalability of biofuels for the maritime industry, because biofuels form an essential part of the energy mix as the world transitions to low-carbon and carbon-neutral fuels. This includes exploring new technologies to expand the feedstocks that can be used to produce second-generation biofuels, such as cellulosic waste from forestry and agriculture. This work presents Cargill and its customers with a viable path to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Independent research center

The center will be a nonprofit commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research center, it is designed to foster collaboration across the entire shipping sector, with industry, academia and authorities participating. A highly specialized, cross-disciplinary team will collaborate globally to create overviews of decarbonization pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonizing fuels and powering technologies as well as support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable and drive the transformation.

The founding partners will contribute expert people resources and testing platforms to support the operations, and the center expects to attract several more partners in the future.

Partnerships to drive reductions, explore new technologies

The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping is just one example of many strategic partnerships Cargill has launched to drive additional GHG reductions, accelerate progress through collaboration and explore new technologies at the forefront of industry development. Cargill is also playing a leading role in industry-level decarbonization initiatives, notably with the Global Maritime Forum.

The maritime industry accounts for around 3% of global carbon emissions and has made a strong commitment to reduce these to zero after 2050. Short-term measures will support increased energy efficiency, allowing for a 40% relative reduction in 2030 across the industry.

Achieving the long-term target will require adoption of new fuel types and a systemic change within the industry, the company said.

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