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Smart Green Shipping Alliance partners with Drax and Ultrabulk to cut shipping emissions

Drax Power is partnering with the Smart Green Shipping Alliance (SGSA), Ultrabulk, and Humphreys Yacht Design to tackle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the shipping industry. A recently started feasibility study will examine the potential of fitting an innovative sail technology onto Ultrabulk ships importing biomass into the UK, to cut both carbon and costs.

Drax Power is partnering with the Smart Green Shipping Alliance (SGSA), Ultrabulk, and Humphreys Yacht Design to tackle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the shipping industry. A recently started feasibility study will examine the potential of fitting an innovative sail technology onto Ultrabulk ships importing biomass into the UK (image courtesy Drax).

The international shipping industry emits roughly 3 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is approximately 1 billion tonnes of CO2 and other GHGs per annum, over twice as much as the UK’s total emissions, from all sources.

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the London-based United Nations (UN) agency responsible for the safety of shipping and its environmental impact, reached a landmark GHG emissions reduction target agreement for the sector: at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, and as an interim goal, reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40 percent by 2030.

Decarbonising biomass transportation

Funded by InnovateUK, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and private investors, the GBP100 000 (≈ EUR 111 000) 12-month feasibility study will examine the potential of fitting an innovative sail technology called Fastrig onto vessels importing biomass into the UK operated by the Denmark-headed dry bulk cargo operator Ultrabulk A/S. The study aims to find the ‘sweet spot’ between reducing emissions and saving fuel costs.

The feasibility study initiated is very much in line with the environmental focus of Ultrabulk and the shipping industry at large. We have made considerable improvements to NOx and SOx emissions; the latter being the focus as in 2019 the SOx emission has to be reduced by 85 percent. As an industry we are under way to deliver on these limits, but we shall naturally not stop there. CO2 still needs to be reduced. Ultrabulk is committed to achieving significant additional reductions, said Per Lange, CEO of Ultrabulk.

Last year, Drax Power imported 6.8 million tonnes of wood pellets in 221 deliveries to the ports of Immingham, Hull, Tyne and Liverpool. Using biomass at Drax has delivered carbon savings of more than 80 percent compared to coal – this includes supply chain emissions, but shipping remains one of the most carbon-intensive parts of the biomass supply chain.

To continue reading – Bioenergy International no. 6-2018. Note that as a magazine subscriber you get access to the e-magazine and articles like this before the print edition reaches your desk!

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