Onboard CCS is expected to reach broader uptake after 2030
Onboard CCS is expected to reach broader uptake after 2030

Implement onboard CCS at new build stage

Shipowners should consider onboard carbon capture and storage at the newbuilding stage to reduce potential retrofit costs, according to a new DNV report.

Key factors that affect the technical feasibility of onboard carbon capture are size, operational profile and trading pattern, machinery capacity for power and heat production, and space available, the report found.

It acknowledges scaling up of the maritime carbon capture network ‘will take time’ and is expected to reach a broader uptake after 2030. By April 2024, 35 carbon storage projects were in operation worldwide with a total storage capacity of 37 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), most of them related to natural gas processing and enhanced oil recovery.

“The application and uptake of onboard carbon capture technology depends on the relevant cost elements of the system, in addition to the regulatory and competitive landscape,” it states.

“In general, as long as decarbonisation of shipping is enforced through regulations and market-based mechanisms, onboard carbon capture may be a commercially attractive solution if high capture rates, low fuel penalties, and low CO2 deposit costs can be achieved.”

Currently, the EU Emissions Trading System is the only regulatory framework incentivising carbon capture on ships, which is in alignment with EU strategy on land-based CCS. In addition, the IMO has initiated a working group to look further into how onboard carbon capture can potentially be implemented in new GHG emission regulations.

“One major challenge is the current lack of regulatory clarity on carbon emission creditability, which generates commercial uncertainty for shipowners,” it states.

Source: DNV

Alongside pre- and post-combustion technologies are oxy-fuel combustion, which results in CO2-rich exhaust and release of CO2 as a by-product. For fuel-cell systems with LNG as fuel, pre- or oxy-fuel combustion are possible capture methods.

A wide uptake of onboard carbon capture by the shipping industry is dependent on its integration within the broader CCUS value chain.

A scaling of the CCUS infrastructure network, across geographies and nations, will establish the grounds for uptake of onboard carbon capture technology. “As of today, this infrastructure is not established,” the report adds.

“The shipping industry needs to reach out to relevant CCUS development projects near major shipping hubs to discuss how the maritime industry can connect to the wider CCUS value chain.”

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