Cargill joins new research center to accelerate decarbonization of the shipping industry

DENMARK – Global agribusiness company and commodity supplier, Cargill has joined leading players across the global maritime industry to launch the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The center, whose founding partners include A.P. Moller–Maersk, ABS, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, NYK Lines, Siemens and Cargill, will focus on developing new fuel types and technologies, a significant action to accelerate the industry’s commitment to decarbonize shipping by 2050. 

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“The center is being established at a critical time for the maritime industry,” said Jan Dieleman, business leader for Cargill’s ocean transportation business.

“Up until now there has been extensive discussion about decarbonizing shipping and zero carbon fuels, but no real capacity to execute the necessary research, analysis and development to move forward.

“The generous funding offered by the A.P. Moller Foundation, combined with access to knowledge, technical expertise and networks across the entire shipping value chain that Cargill and the other founding partners will contribute, will provide that capacity to drive execution and accelerate progress.”

At the center, Cargill said that it will look to increase the viability and scalability of biofuels for the maritime industry, as biofuels form an essential part of the energy mix as the world transitions to low and carbon-neutral fuels.

The agribusiness company noted that this will include exploring new technologies to expand the feedstocks that can be used to produce second generation biofuels, such as cellulosic waste from forestry and agriculture.

The center will operate as a non-profit commercial foundation with a charitable purpose, Cargill said adding that as an independent research center, it is designed to foster collaboration across the entire shipping sector with industry, academia and authorities participating.

The center will also foster collaboration between a highly specialized cross-disciplinary team for the creation of overviews of decarbonization pathways, accelerate the development of selected decarbonizing fuels and powering technologies.

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It will also support the establishment of regulatory, financial and commercial means to enable and drive the transformation. Cargill explained that the founding partners will contribute expert people resources and testing platforms to support the operations, and the center expects to attract several more partners in the future.

The US-based firm added that the effort is part of the company’s overall commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its global supply chains by 30% per ton of product by 2030, against a 2017 baseline.

For its fleet of 600 chartered vessels, the commodity trader said that it has already reduced its aggregated gross CO2 emissions by around 800,000 metric tons over the last two years by operating a more energy-efficient fleet and retrofitting energy-saving devices onboard certain vessels.

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