Leaders in the shipping industry are coming together to launch a new research centre to develop new fuel types and technologies as part of the industry’s commitment to reduce its global carbon emissions.
Named the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping and made possible by a start-up donation of DKK 400 million ($60 million) by the A.P. Møller Foundation, the founding company partners include ABS, A.P. Møller – Mærsk, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line and Siemens Energy.
“The A. P. Møller Foundation wishes to support the efforts to solve the climate issue in global shipping,” said Chairman of the Board in the A.P. Møller Foundation, Ane Uggla. “My father, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was a visionary leader in the global shipping industry for more than 7 decades. He was concerned about shipping’s impact on the environment. Already in the 1980’ies, he championed the use of low sulfur fuel, and he pioneered the first double hull oil tankers in the 1990’ies to minimize the risk of oil spills. Therefore, I find it very natural that my Father’s name will be connected to the centre.”
The centre will be a non-profit organization, set up as a commercial foundation with a charitable purpose. As an independent research centre, 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 power technologies, and support the establishment of regulatory, financial, and commercial means to enable transformation.
Today it is estimated that the shipping sector accounts for around 3 percent of global carbon emissions. While the industry has made a firm commitment to eliminate carbon emissions within this century, achieving this goal is going to require the development of viable technologies as well as new legislation to enable the transition towards decarbonization.
Launching this new initiative, the partners said that short-term measures related to increased energy efficiency would enable a 40 percent relative reduction by 2030. However, achieving the long-term target requires new fuel types and a systemic change within the industry.
“The founding partners and the A.P. Møller Foundation share a long-term ambition to decarbonize the shipping industry,” said Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Møller – Mærsk who has been confirmed as the first member of the board of directors for the research centre. “The establishment of the centre 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. I am looking forward to joining the board of this ambitious collaboration.”
During the first two to three years, the centre will recruit around 100 employees to the Copenhagen-based office and collaborate with new partners across the globe. The founding partner companies have committed one-third of the needed staff, the remaining two-thirds will be recruited independently. In addition to leadership and administration, the centre staff will include subject matter experts in energy, fuels, and ship technology as well as regulatory affairs, finance, and the global energy transition.
Bo Cerup-Simonsen has been named as CEO to lead the centre. Cerup-Simonsen holds a Ph.D. 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 founding partner companies bring a common commitment to decarbonizing shipping and specialized knowledge and research capabilities. Furthermore, the founding partners will donate expert people resources and/or testing platforms to support the operations. The centre expects to attract several more partner companies in the future.