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DNV GL tips decarbonisation as future energy trend

The company's Maritime Forecast to 2050 offers an independent outlook of the maritime energy future and examines how the energy transition will affect the shipping industry

DECARBONISATION will be one of the "megatrends" that will shape the maritime industry in future decades, according to DNV GL Maritime chief executive Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen.

"Combined with the current and future trends in technology and regulations, this means that investment decisions should be examined through a new lens," he said.

The company is proposing a "carbon robust" approach, which looks at future CO2 regulations and requirements and emphasises flexibility, safety, and long-term competitiveness.

 "With this new framework, we hope to help empower robust decision making on assets," said Mr Ørbeck-Nilssen.

He was speaking as DNV GL released its second Maritime Forecast to 2050, which looks at the likely development of maritime energy and examines how the energy transition will affect the shipping industry, including fuel consumption, developments in the types and levels of cargoes transported, and technology drivers.

The company's new model evaluates fuel and technology options by comparing the break-even costs of a design to that of the competing fleet of ships.

The Maritime Forecast predicts a 32% increase in seaborne-trade measured in tonne-miles for 2016–2030. That compares with an estimated 5% growth for 2030–2050.

 "A case study utilising the model in several vessel designs reveals some striking findings, including that investing in energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint beyond existing standards can increase the competitiveness of a vessel over its lifetime," a company statement said.

 "The study also suggests that owners of high-emitting vessels could be exposed to significant market risks in 2030 and 2040."

Mr Ørbeck-Nilssen says uncertainty confronting the maritime industry will increase between now and 2050.

 "This makes it more important than ever before to examine the regulatory and technological challenges and opportunities of future scenarios to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the existing fleet and newbuildings," he said.