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ABS Advances Shipboard Carbon Capture Project

Feb 21, 2024Feb 21, 2024

Stena Bulk's IMOIIMAXX Medium-Range (MR) tanker MT Stena Impero. Photo courtesy Stena Bulk

Shipboard carbon capture is one of the latest solutions being considered by the global shipping industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, a project aiming to demonstrate the feasibility of using carbon capture onboard a tanker is moving to the next stage of development.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has granted an approval in principle to the project, which is being led by a seven-member consortium that includes the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD), the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), ABS, Stena Bulk, Alfa Laval, the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), and Deltamarin.

The two-year, three-phase demonstration project, known as Project REMARCCABLE (short for Realising Maritime Carbon Capture to demonstrate the Ability to Lower Emissions) is one of the largest shipboard carbon capture initiatives in the pipeline currently. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate shipboard carbon capture on board a Stena Bulk Medium-Range (MR) IMOIIMAXX tanker, targeting at least a 30% absolute capture rate for CO2 emissions during normal vessel operations and on deep-sea voyages.

The first phase involved conceptual design and a front-end engineering design study of the carbon capture system, while the second phase will focus on engineering, procurement, and construction of a prototype shipboard carbon capture system and onshore commissioning. The final phase will involve integrating the carbon capture system with the Stena Bulk tanker for sea trials.

Approval in principle from ABS allows the consortium to consider whether the project will move to the next stage, which includes engineering, procurement, and construction. Following a full engineering study, the carbon capture system will be built and tested prior to integration onboard the MR tanker for sea trials. A rigorous stage gate review process will be conducted prior to progression between phases.

The consortium’s members believe that the onboard carbon capture system could help accelerate commercial deployment of shipboard carbon capture technology within the next five years.

The Singapore-based Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, which was formed in 2021 by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and six founding partners (namely BHP, BW, DNV Foundation, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express and Sembcorp Marine) also plans to launch a study on offloading the liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) to resolve potential challenges and inform the third phase of the project.

The global shipping industry is actively exploring various solutions, including low-carbon fuels and carbon capture, to help achieve the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) initial target of cutting the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 from a baseline of 2008.

Earlier this month, Finnish technology group Wärtsilä announced its first order for carbon capture and storage-ready scrubber systems for four undisclosed 8,200 TEU containerships being built in Asia. Delivery of the systems to the shipyard is expected in 2023.

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