MHI, MAN, Siemens Join Zero Carbon Shipping Center

By Jack Burke25 June 2020

Key maritime businesses, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Siemens Energy and MAN Energy Solutions, will be partners in the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, a research and development institute promoting decarbonization in the shipping industry.

The center is being created at the suggestion of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, a global leader in integrated transport and logistics. The center will be headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with MHI and six other businesses and institutions participating in its founding. The center will mainly target the development of new fuels and technologies for achieving zero carbon in the shipping industry, which currently accounts for roughly 3% of the world’s carbon emissions. MHI Group will cooperate primarily through provision of human resources.

Along with A.P. Møller – Mærsk, MHI, Siemens and MAN, participants in the center’s establishment include the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Cargill, a major American producer of grain and other foodstuffs; and NYK Line.

“Decarbonization will be one of the largest transitions that we will see within the maritime industry for years and requires a holistic approach looking at the complete supply chain from well to wake. No technology or company can do this alone which is why we need to join forces across the supply chain to meet this challenge,” said Brian Østergaard Sørensen, vice president and head of R&D Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions. “We at MAN Energy Solutions have decarbonization as part of our corporate strategy and developing sustainable technologies and solutions is at the core of what we do. While two-stroke engine technology will likely remain the prime mover for deep-sea shipping, cleaner fuels will play a larger role in the future. MAN Energy Solutions recognizes that there are several pathways to achieving a carbon-neutral economy and that we need to work together, which is why we are happy to have joined the Center.”

The center will be a non-profit organization, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research center, it will work across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and authorities. 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, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable transformation.

To define the strategic direction of the Center, a Board of Directors is being established. It will also have a management board, which will be headed by Bo Cerup-Simonsen as CEO. Bo Cerup-Simonsen holds a PhD from the Technical University of Denmark in Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and has a proven track record in leadership of large-scale industry projects, maritime technology, research and innovation.

The center will undertake the development of carbon-neutral fuels and new propulsion technologies in collaboration with global partners gleaned from the industrial and academic sectors and related authorities. Initially, the center will operate with a staff numbering approximately 100, including employees assigned from the founding partners as well as the Center’s own hires. In addition to experts in energy, fuels and shipping technologies, staff will also include personnel in charge of regulatory issues, marketing and other areas. The center’s activities will focus on achieving the target announced by the shipping industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050.

The center will be operated as a nonprofit organization (NPO) funded by the A.P. Møller Foundation, a charitable foundation commemorating A.P. Møller – Maersk’s founder, Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller. Bo Cerup-Simonsen, former vice president and head of Maersk Maritime Technology at A.P. Møller – Maersk, will serve as the center’s CEO.

Through initiatives such as participation in the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, MHI Group said it will strengthen its efforts to further reduce greenhouse gases on global scale. Leveraging its businesses in ship engineering and marine machinery and systems, the company will contribute to the further development of marine logistics and reduction of environmental loads, an issue of global concern.

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