Turn the Tide

Marine industry is getting greener every year. In December 2021, SEA Europe, representing close to 100% of the European shipbuilding industry in 16 nations, laid down some guidelines how the shipbuilders approach the Green Transition.

SEA Europe supports the goals of the Fit-for-55 legislative package, seeking zero-emission waterborne transport by 2050. SEA Europe believes that this legislative package will offer “stimulating opportunities” for Europe’s shipyards and maritime technology sector. However, at the same time, SEA Europe believes that more efforts will be required to turn the EU’s ambitions on climate change into true economic opportunities.

SEA Europe calls for specific policy actions to enable Europe’s shipyards and maritime equipment industry to reap the promising benefits from the European Green Deal and Fit-for-55.

SEA Europe is of the opinion that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the transformation of waterborne transport towards a zero-emission mode of transport, due to the large variety of ship types and ship trades – and that the optimal pathways towards rapid emission reduction, zero-emission ships and climate neutrality are by no means straightforward.

Therefore, SEA Europe has issued a call to research, develop, financially support, and legally ascertain all options for clean technologies, alternative fuels and their optimal integration onboard vessels.

Finnish Marine Industries has launched ResponSea initiative to create and nurture the sustainable maritime sector of the future. The Finnish marine industry has a rather unique strength: it develops the sustainability of its products and its network together, throughout the industry – and beyond.

ResponSea focuses on reducing the environmental impact of shipping and shipbuilding as well as the monitoring of the sustainability of the delivery chain and enhancing circular economy and lifecycle efficiency in all actions.

Finnish industry innovators are responding to the call. In January 2022, the technology group Wärtsilä received its first order for newbuild methanol-fueled engines. A new Offshore Wind Installation Vessel (WIV), being built for Dutch contracting company Van Oord, will be powered by five Wärtsilä 32 engines capable of operating with methanol.

With delivery scheduled for early 2023, the methanol engine order extends Wärtsilä’s position in support of the maritime industry’s decarbonisation ambitions, and in the use of the fuel. Wärtsilä already has some experience with methanol, having converted four engines to use the fuel in 2015.

Wärtsilä sees methanol as one of the alternatives to meet the industry’s goals to reduce its environmental impact. Such solutions are now needed, perhaps more than ever, as we seek to turn the terminal tide of climate change.


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