MSC explores viability of hydrogen and biofuels

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said it is further exploring the viability of hydrogen and fuels derived from it as a possible fuel source for the future for container shipping, and is increasingly pioneering the use of biofuels within its existing fleet.

Speaking on 5 October at the inaugural Maritime Transport Efficiency Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, where MSC is headquartered, MSC Group’s Bud Darr outlined some preferred options in a keynote speech on decarbonisation and during a panel discussion on fuels for the future.


“There’s no one single solution to decarbonise shipping; we need a range of alternative fuels at scale and we need them urgently,” said Bud, who is Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy & Government Affairs at MSC Group. “The future of shipping and decarbonisation will rely on strong partnerships from both the perspective of technology collaboration and procurement,” Bud said.


In support of the UN International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) policy goals to decarbonize shipping, MSC is actively exploring and trialling a range of alternative fuels and technologies and is already actively bunkering biofuels at scale. Fossil-sourced LNG remains a transitional option, while carbon capture and storage, if perfected for marine use, could be useful, Bud told the conference, which gathered together a variety of shipping companies, fuel providers, academics, policy makers and representatives of the UN and Geneva government. MSC employs more than 1200 people in Switzerland, where the company has been based since 1978.


MSC is also pioneering the large-scale usage of biofuel blends for container ships and is already bunkering responsibly sourced, up to 30% biofuel lends on a routine basis in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the world’s largest class of container ships, MSC’s Gülsün Class, was fitted at delivery in 2019-20 with the option to convert in future to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a potential bridging fuel as part of the industry’s transition towards a zero-carbon future.

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