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Stena Bulk and Alfa Laval Trial Shipboard Carbon Capture on MR Tanker

Nov 06, 2023Nov 06, 2023

Published Oct 5, 2022 7:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

Stena Bulk has joined a project with Alfa Laval, ABS, Deltamarin, and Dutch research organization TNO to test out an end-to-end shipboard carbon capture and storage solution. It is the first pilot project of its kind to incorporate shoreside end use arrangements, according to the partnership.

Multiple challenges await CO2-capture systems, including the energy consumption and size of carbon-capture plants; the mass and volume taken up on board by CO2 storage; and the cost of the additional capital equipment onboard and onshore.

Though it may be technically challenging, shipboard carbon capture has significance because it is one of only two low-carbon propulsion options that run without zero-carbon fuels. With shipboard carbon capture, the industry's existing well-to-tank supply chains and engine systems remain intact, so the emissions of existing vessels can be readily abated. And as zero-carbon fuel production will take years to ramp up, the consortium notes, it may be among the only realistic options: 85 percent of the fuel mix for two-stroke engines will still be fossil-fuel based by 2030 and 34 percent by 2050.

To advance the technology, the consortium will design, build and install a carbon capture system on one of Stena Bulk's MR tankers. The design goal is to abate 30 percent of the vessel's carbon emissions, which would be comparable to the performance of other carbon-capture systems for vessels of this size. As a second objective, the partners are looking for progress towards reducing the cost of capture to about $150/tonne.

The initial demonstration project will run the carbon-capture plant for about 500 hours. If successful, Stena will keep the system on board and continue its use. The partnership will also arrange for shoreside storage or use, and the findings will be made available to the industry at large.

"Exploring this technology is crucial to understanding the role it could play in facilitating our industry’s decarbonization. Not only does this project align with Stena Bulk's vision to advance decarbonization, it is a testament to our entrepreneurial spirit and our eagerness to lead change,” said Erik Hånell, CEO of Stena Bulk.