The World Maritime University (WMU) is partnering with major industry players in the EU-funded research project Horizon 2020 (H2020) on the decarbonisation of shipping.
The CHEK project aims to demonstrate a combination of innovative ship designs and technologies that operate in symbiosis in conceptual designs of real ships.
These technologies will include sail power, hydrogen propulsion, waste heat recovery, battery electric power, hull air lubrication, innovative anti-fouling technology and digital operational improvements.
The combination of these technologies aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 99 percent, achieve at least 50 percent energy savings and reduce black carbon emissions by more than 95 percent.
The technologies will be demonstrated on a full scale with two first-class conceptual ship designs (the Kamsarmax bulk carrier and the Meraviglia class cruise ship) based on actual operational profiles.
The consortium partners are Vaasa University (coordinator), WMU, Wärtsilä, Cargill, MSC Cruises, Lloyds Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon and BAR Technologies.
Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, welcomed the participation of WMU in the project, saying it underlines the university’s commitment to supporting the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 7, focusing on affordable and clean energy for all, and Goal 13, focusing on climate action.
The project supports the reality that no existing or emerging “silver bullet” technology is capable of decarbonizing long distance shipping in light of the ambitious IMO targets for 2050 and 2100.
Batteries cannot store enough green electricity to decarbonize long-distance shipping, and fuel cells are expensive and have significant life-cycle environmental impacts from the use of rare metals.
Dependence on carbon-neutral fuels only (ammonia, hydrogen) wastes the immense potential for wind and solar propulsion available on board.
“If the shipping of the future is to connect the world reliably, cost-effectively and quickly – and do so in line with IMO goals for 2050 – it must use a combination of technologies of the future that work in symbiosis,” the university said.
The role of the WMU or UMM in the project will be to carry out life cycle assessments of the various technologies and calculate the potential savings in greenhouse gas emissions. It will also be responsible for disseminating the project results and communicating them to stakeholders and policy makers.
The project is expected to start on June 1, 2021, with a duration of 36 months.