The technology group Wärtsilä is active in its support for a co-programmed partnership between the European Commission and the Waterborne Technology Platform. The aim of the partnership is to demonstrate zero-emission solutions for all main ship types and services before 2030, which will enable zero-emission waterborne transport before 2050. An agreement for the partnership is to be signed during the European Research and Innovation Days event on June 23.
Wärtsilä contributed to the preparation phase of the partnership agreement and will support the programme’s internal processes by helping to define the partnership’s strategic goals, monitoring and guiding its progress, and ensuring proper functioning of the partnership.
Wärtsilä has, through its research of carbon-neutral fuels and development of related engine technology, taken a leading role in efforts to decarbonise shipping. The fuels researched include bio- and synthetic LNG, ammonia, methanol, hydrogen, and bio-fuels. As early as 2015, Wärtsilä successfully converted a Ro-Pax vessel to operate on methanol fuel. Wärtsilä is also a participant in the EU’s ShipFC project to develop fuel storage systems for the world’s first ammonia powered vessel. During this year, the ship will also be fitted with an internal combustion engine fuelled by ammonia – another world first breakthrough.
“We fully support the goals and work of this partnership and those of the IMO, which are completely in-line with our own strategies and commitment to delivering emission-free shipping solutions. Time is short if the partnership’s goals are to be achieved, so collaboration with qualified partners, customers and industry stakeholders is essential, as is the need to implement those smart technologies that already exist. This is why we will continue to be very much involved,” says Mikael Wideskog, Director, Sustainable Fuels & Decarbonisation, Wärtsilä Marine Power.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a goal of reducing the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. In addition, a target has been set to reduce the carbon intensity of shipping by 40% by 2030, thus emphasising the need for the rapid introduction of existing and new smart technologies.
The partnership brings together the majority of the European waterborne transport sector, including the European maritime technology sector (shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers), most of the container transport capacity worldwide, excellent research and cluster organisations, academia, class societies, the inland navigation sector as well as associations representing the broader waterborne transport sector.