Stena Bulk has joined a project with Alfa Laval, ABS, Deltamarin and Dutch research organization TNO to test an end-to-end shipboard carbon capture and storage solution. It is the first pilot of its kind to incorporate onshore end-use agreements, according to the partnership.
Multiple challenges await CO2 capture systems, including energy consumption and size of carbon capture plants; the mass and the volume carried by the CO2 storage; and the cost of additional capital equipment on board and ashore.
Although it may be technically difficult, carbon capture on board ships matters because it is one of only two low-carbon propulsion options that operate without carbon-free fuels. With shipboard carbon capture, the industry’s existing well-to-tank supply chains and engine systems remain intact, so emissions from existing ships can be easily reduced. And since zero-carbon fuel production will take years to ramp up, the consortium notes, this could be one of the only realistic options: 85% of the fuel mix for two-stroke engines will still be fossil fuel-based. by 2030 and 34% by 2050.
To advance the technology, the consortium will design, build and install a carbon capture system on one of Stena Bulk’s MR tankers. The design objective is to reduce the vessel’s carbon emissions by 30%, which would be comparable to the performance of other carbon capture systems for vessels of this size. As a second objective, the partners are looking for progress to reduce the cost of capture to around $150/tonne.
The initial demonstration project will operate the carbon capture plant for approximately 500 hours. If successful, Stena will keep the system on board and continue to use it. The partnership will also arrange for onshore storage or use, and the results will be made available to the industry as a whole.
“Exploring this technology is crucial to understanding the role it could play in facilitating the decarbonization of our industry. Not only does this project align with Stena Bulk’s vision to advance decarbonization, but it demonstrates our entrepreneurial spirit and eagerness to lead change,” said Erik Hånell, CEO of Stena Bulk.