Considering IMO CO2 targets for 2030, it is quite clear that compliance can be achieved in the short term by optimising vessel operations and implementing efficiency-boosting technologies. But hitting IMO's tough 2030 and 2050 targets requires an effort on multiple fronts. Switching to an alternative future fuel and investing in fuel flexibility offers immediate benefits in terms of carbon, SOx and NOx reductions and compliance with regulations such as EEXI. The key considerations when investigating a fuel conversion of an existing ships are for example:
Investing in fuel flexibility and the combustion engine will mitigate compliance and business risks introduced by future fuels. There is no one single future fuel – there will be a whole variety of fuels in use. To power the shipping in the future, Wärtsilä is investigating wide range of fuels and developing a wide range of engine and fuel gas supply systems to help ship owners navigate the route to reduced GHG emissions – whatever fuels are chosen.
Wärtsilä has the technology needed to use most future fuels today and development is on-going for others. We are also investing heavily in developing fuel conversion and retrofit solutions. There are already a variety of retrofit solutions that can be implemented on both 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines.
The only way an asset can return value beyond 2030 is if it can adapt to low-carbon and green fuels. Fuel flexibility is the key to enable this transition.