INDUSTRY partners have joined forces to assess the technical, financial and environmental potential of converting existing vessels to zero carbon fuels and technology as part of the transition to a global zero carbon fleet by 2050.

The partners include the American Bureau of Shipping, A.P. Moller – Maersk, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Line, Seaspan Corporation and Total.

Working through the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, the project will assess conversion options and de-risk asset investments by analysing the emission reduction potential as well as techno-economic opportunity of converting vessels currently fueled by fossil-based fuels to zero or neutral carbon fuel solutions.

In addition, the project will identify a number of technical modifications of relevance for today’s new buildings to reduce the cost of future conversions, thus minimising the associated financial risk for ship owners.

The project partners will address various vessel types including container, tankers and bulk carriers and their potential conversion from conventional fuel oil, or integration with more recent fuels such LNG and LPG, to enable pathways with future solutions such as ammonia or methanol as well as the application of onboard carbon capture and storage.


For each pathway, the related safety aspects will be reviewed, and the financial assessment will cover items such as conversion-, technology- and fuel costs as well as associated operating costs, whereas the environment assessment will, among other things, cover the greenhouse gas reduction potential over the lifetime of a vessel.

Claus Winter Graugaard, head of onboard vessel solutions at the Mærsk McKinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, said, “In order to accelerate the investments in a zero carbon maritime value chain, we have to reduce the risk of stranded assets.

“With this project, we address that challenge by providing clarity and overview of the operational fuel- and technology options, their associated environmental and financial impact as well as their transition pathways.”

Georgios Plevrakis, ABS director, global sustainability said, “This is a vitally important piece of work for the industry. We are assessing the opportunities and consequences of converting ships from fossil-based fuels to zero or neutral carbon fuel solution, which is something every ship owner and operator urgently needs actionable insight into.

“This project will turn the industry’s decarbonisation ambitions into a series of actionable steps, a pathway for each vessel type to carbon-free operations,” he said.