Urgent measures are needed to achieve shipping’s climate targets by 2030. On Tuesday 25 April, ZERO, the Shipowners’ Association and Maritime CleanTech brought together key players from the maritime industry at MESH in Oslo for a seminar on green shipping.

Håvard Tvedte, head of communications and public affairs at Maritime CleanTech, introduced the technology seminar with Zero and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association in Oslo on April 25.

Liv-Elisif Kalland, Head of Maritime Affairs at ZERO, commenced the day with a staus update from the industry. She referred to DNV’s “Barometer report for the green transition of Norwegian domestic shipping”, which was updated in February 2023. The report revealed that the industry is in a poor position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in new, emission-free technology. The pace of change has slowed down from 2019 to 2021 and even more so from 2019 to 2023. Hence, it is essential for the maritime industry to collaborate and provide input to authorities and each other on how to reduce emissions in the sector swiftly.

After ZERO’s presentation, Øystein Huglen, Maritime CleanTech’s Head of Innovation and Project Development took the stage. He discussed technologies that can halve emissions from the maritime industry by 2030 and lead to zero emissions by 2050. He emphasized that newbuilds must be usable in a zero-emission society.

Electricity, hydrogen, ammonia, methanol?

The electrification of ferry connections is one of Norway’s success stories, and the electric ferries demonstrate the significance and effect of requirements in public tenders. In 2022, Rogaland began regular traffic of MS “Medstraum,” the world’s first all-electric fast ferry. Eli Sjøen from Kolumbus, the public transport company, discussed the positives and negatives so far.

Sandra Ness from Havila Kystruten presented her experiences with emission-free sailing in the world heritage fjords. Sintef researcher Henrik Strand discussed charging and shore power opportunities and needs, while Kristine Fløche Juelsgaard from Ballard Power System talked about freight transport with compressed hydrogen, providing experience and advice from their projects.

Heidi Wolden from Norled presented the path towards getting MF “Hydra,” the world’s first ferry to run on liquid hydrogen, on the water. She stressed the importance of requirements in public tenders and establishing a complete value chain for hydrogen.

The next debates focused on technology and value chain development for alternative fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen, and methanol. Wärtsilä talked about its ammonia combustion engine undergoing testing, while Azane Fuel Solutions, Greenstat, Yara Clean Ammonia, and Glocal Green presented ongoing projects in technology and value chain development.

Politicians (left) and shipowners (right) were invited to join the conversation on the way forward for shipping decarbonization.

Shipowners see CFDs as key

What do shipowners say about the progress? Marie Launes from Eidesvik, Hendrik Andersson from Høegh Autoliners, and Torleif Frimannslund from Grieg Maritime Group all agreed that more incentives must be in place for the industry’ to reach  the climate targets. Although everyone aims to reduce their emissions, it won’t happen without encouragement. Contracts for difference (CFD), in which the state contributes to financing the intermediate between fossil and green solutions, were highlighted by all as the most important tool for initiating new technologies.

Lastly, State Secretary Ragnhild Sjoner Syrstad (Ap) from the Ministry of Climate and Environment provided an update on the government’s efforts towards zero-emission shipping. Liv Kari Eskeland (H) joined in the political conversation about the way forward.