Global coatings supplier Hempel announced on 24 October that it has joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, a multi-stakeholder group that aims to see the introduction of commercially viable zero emission shipping vessels by 2030.

In 2018, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. At the same time, the IMO will pursue efforts to eliminate emissions from shipping altogether – the full decarbonisation of the industry.

For this to be possible, zero emission vessels (ZEV) are essential, which is why the Getting to Zero Coalition was established. A partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum, is bringing together industry stakeholders to work towards having commercially viable ZEVs operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030. Hempel has committed to being a key player in achieving this goal.

Christian Ottosen, Group VP, Head of Marine Business at Hempel, comments: “As a company, we have long played a key role in helping the shipping industry reduce emissions through our hydrodynamic hull coatings, such as Hempaguard MaX and our SHAPE propulsion efficiency measuring services. When creating ZEVs, we need to consider all aspects of design and operation – not just the fuel source – and our coatings are one of the most important components to achieve this reduction.”

Launched in September, Hempaguard MaX reduces a vessel’s drag in the water, which cuts fuel consumption and associated emissions. It is based on Hempaguard X7, a hull coating that has been applied to over 1,500 vessels since its launch in 2013, enabling those vessels to collectively reduce their annual fuel bill by USD 500 million and cut annual CO2 emissions by over 10 million tonnes.

The Getting to Zero Coalition will begin by working with industry players in the maritime, energy and other related industries, as well as academics, think tanks and policy makers, to develop a roadmap that identifies the technologies, investments and actions needed to get commercially viable ZEVs operating on the water by 2030, including all necessary infrastructure around the new vessels.

“The Getting to Zero Coalition is an extremely important initiative,” says Christian Ottosen. “Global trade – and with it global shipping – continues to grow. It is no longer enough to focus just on improving a vessel’s energy and operational efficiency. We need a totally new approach to vessel design, especially around propulsion – and we’re proud to be part of this very important initiative.”