MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and Shell International Petroleum Company have agreed to work closely together to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the global shipping sector.

This comes after MSC hit back at reports that it was one of the European Union’s top carbon emitters, saying its ratio of carbon dioxide emissions per ton of cargo is among the lowest in the industry.

The long-term memorandum of understanding will help MSC and Shell to develop a range of safe, sustainable and competitive technologies that can reduce emissions from existing assets and help to enable a net-zero emissions future for shipping.

Bud Darr, EVP maritime policy and government affairs at MSC Group, said, “MSC’s efforts to decarbonise include strong partnerships with a range of companies across the industry.

“This partnership with Shell is a great example of the type of commitment that is needed to catalyse low-carbon solutions for the shipping sector.

“We need significant advances in research and development and fuel development,” he said.

Melissa Williams, president at Shell Marine, said, “Shell wants to play a central role in the transition to net zero. Partnering with our customers to develop new technologies and fuels will help accelerate progress.

“Combining MSC’s experience as one of the world’s largest shipping companies with Shell’s expertise as a global energy supplier will help bring about effective solutions for this vital part of the world economy.”


Shell and MSC have worked together over the last 10 years on projects, including bunkering biofuels and trialling very and ultra-low sulphur fuels.

MSC and Shell technical and commercial teams will collaborate to develop and deploy net-zero solutions such as zero-emission fuels of the future and the technologies that will enable them, including fuel cells, with the ambition of contributing towards a zero-carbon flexi-fuel concept vessel.

They will also work together on energy efficiency technologies, including digital services and platforms.

The partners are also exploring options such as hydrogen-derived fuels and the use of methanol as a marine fuel. Both companies each have been exploring the significant potential benefits of progressing from fossil-based liquefied natural gas to bio-LNG or synthetic variants.