A new global platform to expand low-carbon fuel production

In a significant move, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a partnership project of the world’s major economies working together to accelerate the global clean energy transition, adopted the Clean Energy Marine Hubs Initiative (CEM-Hubs) at a summit in Goa last week. The first-of-its-kind platform brings together the private sector and governments along the energy-maritime value chain to transform maritime transport and production hubs for future low-carbon fuels.

The CEM Hubs initiative is supported by Canada, Norway, Panama, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).

The initiative is jointly led by private sector actors and governments, working closely together. However, the maritime energy value chain is far from ready to transport the expected influx of low-carbon fuels by 2050. To meet demand, the shipping industry is expected to transport at least 50 percent of all traded low-carbon fuels by 2050, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA). However, the production centers, ships and port infrastructure needed to meet the expected demand are not currently in place on a commercial scale.

So far, only one ship in the entire world fleet has been used to transport liquefied hydrogen – from Australia to Japan. With hydrogen derivatives like ammonia and other low-carbon fuels being carried by ships, the scale is far from what heavy industry, transportation and other sectors would need. To support the global transition to net-zero goals, the shipping industry is projected to transport two to five times the low-carbon fuels it will consume by 2050. The fuel mix will also need to change to align with the Paris Agreement targets, according to a statement from the World Ports Sustainability Program.

Jean-François Gagné, head of the secretariat of the Ministry of Clean Energy, said ports, shipping and the logistics network must be an integral part of the global clean energy transition. The CEM Hubs offer a unique opportunity to develop actionable actions to ensure greener supply chains around the world.

Meanwhile, Captain Rajalingam, President and Group CEO of MISC, says the adoption, transportation and integration of future fuels into the wider economy requires immediate action to boost demand and achieve economies of scale.

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