Polishing the Green and Low Carbon Background for High-quality Development of the Shipping Industry

With the gradual enhancement of global environmental awareness and the improvement of relevant policies and regulations, it has become a trend in the transportation sector to actively address climate change, accelerate energy transformation, and continuously reduce environmental footprint. Developing environment-friendly green ships with low energy consumption, low emissions, and high efficiency is not only an inherent requirement for the maritime industry to ensure sustainable development, but also an inevitable choice for the shipbuilding industry to seek high-quality development. As an important technical support institution for the international and domestic shipbuilding and shipping industries, China Classification Society (CCS) upholds the objective of “Safety, Environmental Protection and  Creating Value for Clients and Society”, fully serves the national “dual carbon” strategy, actively leads the industry transformation process, fully leverages the inherent advantages of long-term deep cultivation of scientific and technological innovation, provides strong technical support for the industry towards a green future, and contributes professional strength to accelerating the construction of a strong transportation, maritime, and shipping country.

Fully advancing the application of clean energy on water

CCS focuses on establishing a standard system for the rules of green ecology, conducting research on the application of clean energy, and promoting the comprehensive development and utilization of new energy to promote the development of green and low-carbon ships.

In 2012, CCS officially released the world’s first “Rules for Green Ships” for energy conservation, environmental protection, and working environment, which defines the concept of “green ships” for the first time, guiding and promoting the transformation of the development concepts as well as optimization and upgrading in shipbuilding, shipping, and related manufacturing industries Starting from the “Rules for Green Ships”, CCS has taken a big step towards green-leading, and laid a solid foundation for the technological development and research of future green ships. Afterwards, CCS has constantly upgraded and improved the “Rules for Green Ships”, tracked industry demands, and continuously promoted the upgrading of the standards for green new technologies. It has also integrated new connotations and requirements of green ecological development into the original rules, and updated them in a timely manner. CCS has not only launched the “Rules for Green Eco-Ships” with environmental protection and ecological protection as two core elements in 2022, established a complete target system for the rules of green ships, but also successively released nearly 90 rules and guidelines related to green ecology, building a clear framework and pointing out a specific direction for the development of green ships. It is one of the core targets of CCS to continuously benefit the industry through practical action based on scientific research. Therefore, in recent years, CCS has continuously increased its efforts in the application of clean energy represented by alternative fuels, and fruitful results has been achieved.

In the field of LNG fuel, in 2022, the “YUAN RUI YANG” ship slowly set sail with slight vibration and deep roars, firmly sailing towards the vast ocean. This ship is of great significance as it is the world’s first LNG dual-fuel ultra-large crude tanker built for COSCO Shipping Group. Its successful delivery has not only demonstrated China’s leading position in green, environment-friendly, and energy-saving technologies in the world, but also represented a significant breakthrough of China’s shipbuilding industry in the field of large-scale clean energy power technology. The ship was independently drawing reviewed and surveyed by CCS. It can be said that CCS has achieved unprecedented breakthroughs in the technical services of large-scale clean energy powered ships and the application of LNG as the main fuel for ultra-large crude tankers. In the same year, China’s first C-type tank special LNG bunkering vessel “XIN AO PU TUO HAO” was delivered, which further consolidated CCS’s leading position in the design and construction of LNG bunkering vessels. As the saying that a minute on the stage bases on ten years’ hard work. Behind these achievements are the unremitting efforts of CCS in LNG for more than 10 years. So far, CCS has basically established a technical standard system for the whole water LNG industry chain covering LNG water transportation, bunkering, utilization, etc. CCS has provided classification services for over 200 LNG-powered ships, including inland and sea-going vessels, and can provide LNG Ready solutions for three mainstream ship types: large oil tankers, ultra-large ore carriers, and ultra-large container ships.

CCS has made significant progress in methanol power, hydrogen fuel cells, ammonia fuel, wind resources, etc., highlighting its unique value in the service industry.

In the field of methanol fuel, CCS has demonstrated multiple important achievements in promoting innovative applications of green ship technology through a series of significant “first ships” and “first certificates”, continuously contributing to industry progress. In February 2022, CCS issued the AIP certificate for the design scheme of China’s first green methanol-powered VLCC vessel jointly developed by COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co., Ltd. and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd., marking a new beginning in the design of methanol-powered vessels in China. On April 10, 2024, the world’s largest and China’s first methanol bunkering ship “Hai Gang Zhi Yuan” successfully completed its first “ship-to-ship” synchronous bunkering operation for the “Astrid M?rsk” ship docked at Guandong Wharf in Yangshan Port, Shanghai. CCS has facilitated Shanghai Port to become the third port in the world to have this capacity. It can be said that CCS has formed a service capability covering the whole methanol industry chain, and provided comprehensive design approval and classification services for various types of methanol-powered vessels, including VLCC, pulp carriers, bulk carriers, container ships, chemical tankers, etc. With its expertise in the methanol fuel field, CCS has injected surging green momentum into the sustainable development of the industry.

In the field of hydrogen fuel, in October 2023, China’s first hydrogen fuel cell power ship “Sanxia Qingzhou 1” (Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1) made its maiden voyage in Yichang, Hubei, the starting point of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, and sailed along the Yangtze River, becoming a unique scenic view of the Golden Waterway. This marks a breakthrough in zero application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland ships in China. Behind this, there is also CCS’s technological accumulation and support in the field of hydrogen fuel. In less than two years from staring construction in May 2022 to its maiden voyage, the CCS project team has built the design and construction systems and testing specifications for hydrogen ships, which successfully promoted the demonstrative application of China’s first classified CCS hydrogen ship “Sanxia Qingzhou 1”. Based on this project, CCS has also carried out multiple national key R&d plans and high-tech ship research projects, which marks a crucial step of promoting the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland ships in China from scratch, and produced a series of international-leading scientific and technological achievements. CCS is also continuously improving the construction rules and product inspection standard system for hydrogen-powered ships while making technological breakthroughs. CCS has formulated the guidelines for application of fuel cell power generation devices, product inspection standards for marine hydrogen fuel cell systems, and rules for hydrogen fuel bunkering operations, which has not only accelerated the application speed of hydrogen fuel cell products in the marine field, but also effectively improved the applicability and safety of the technology.

In the field of ammonia fuel, CCS is also making unremitting efforts in R&D. Currently, CCS has mastered the key technologies related to the layout, storage, bunkering, supply, firefighting, etc. of ammonia-fueled ships, and compiled the “Guidelines for Ships Using Ammonia Fuel” that clarifies the safety technical requirements for ships using ammonia fuel, providing effective basis for the design, drawing review, construction, and survey of ships.

It can be seen that CCS is committed to providing comprehensive green ship technology services for the industry to promote green development of the shipping industry, and meet the urgent demand of society for clean energy.

Promoting the innovative application of green ship technology

It is a firm target of CCS to promote the innovative application of green ship technology. CCS is striving to lead the shipping industry to achieve green and low-carbon transformation, and shape environment-friendly ships as the model of global green navigation by widely promoting clean energy. In order to better serve the industry, CCS has conducted extensive research on key technologies for improving ship energy efficiency and shipborne carbon capture technology, including wind turbine propulsion, hard wing sail propulsion, air lubrication/air layer drag reduction, efficient propellers, energy-saving appendages, waste heat recovery and utilization, solar photovoltaic, etc. CCS has formulated more than 10 application guidelines, and can provide comprehensive technical assessment, AIP and actual ship classification services.

In terms of sailing-assisted technology, in November 2018, the 308,000T ultra large oil tanker “Kaili” independently developed and built by China was officially delivered for use. It was the first time that the experimental sail-assisted propulsion device was installed on this VLCC for starting sailing and operation. With this innovative technology, 3% of the fuel required for navigation can be saved every day. CCS has deeply participated and mastered key technologies in the design, manufacturing, and application of winged sails in the project, walking at the forefront of future ship technology. This is a good achievement and also the beginning of CCS to provide wing-shaped sails services to the industry. In September 2022, a handover and naming ceremony for the world’s first two-wing powered sails VLCC ordered by China Merchants Energy Shipping Co.,Ltd. was held in Dalian. The ship was provided with classification services by CCS, and is also the world’s first two-wing powered sails VLCC. It is equipped with two pairs of new large hard wing-shaped sails, and it is expected to achieve an average annual fuel consumption savings of over 9.8% with the use of the sailing device. These research results have provided valuable practical experience for CCS to conduct in-depth research on the utilization of wind energy resources. CCS has successively released the “Guidelines for Evaluation and Inspection of Marine Hard Wing Sails” and the “Guidelines for Wind-Assisted Propulsion System for Ships”, and formed the classification survey and technical service capabilities in this field. At the same time, CCS can also provide EEDI/EEXI contribution assessment services for ships with such devices to ensure the achievement of the installation goals.

Air lubrication and air layer drag reduction are also highly-recognized green and energy-saving technologies for ships in recent years, and are also one of the driving forces of CCS technology. In 2019, the innovative energy-saving technology developed by CMES-Tech under the 703th Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) ——Air Layer Drag Reduction System for Ships, was awarded the first AIP certificate for air layer drag reduction system for ships in China by CCS. In January 2023, the 307,000T ultra large intelligent crude oil tanker “New Splendor” surveyed by CCS was officially delivered. As a  Green-ECO demonstration ship, it was first equipped with a gas layer drag reduction system with independent intellectual property rights of Chinese ships. It has become the first energy-saving and environmentally-friendly VLCC in the world to adopt gas layer drag reduction technology, leading the progress of green and energy-saving technology for large ships. The technology-leading requires a strong R&D foundation. After years of research, CCS released the “Guidelines for Surveys of Air Lubrication and Drag Reduction Systems of Ships (2020)” in 2020. This guideline is applicable to sea-going vessels that are installed with air lubrication and drag reduction systems, including new and modified ships. It is of great significance for promoting the practical application of air lubrication and drag reduction technology on ships, and meeting the Phase III requirements of EEDI for new ships under the greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy and the EEXI and CII requirements for in-service ships.

As a strategic and disruptive technology to achieve large-scale low-carbon utilization of fossil energy, carbon dioxide capture, storage, and utilization (CCUS) technology is an important means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, ensure energy safety, build ecological civilization, and achieve sustainable development in the future. In order to fully utilize this technology in promoting ship emissions reduction, CCS has collaborated with the industry to conduct research on shipborne carbon capture technology, formulated the technical requirements for “Additional markings for Onboard Carbon Capture System: OCCS”, launched the “Guidelines for Carbon Capture Systems in Ship Applications”, and provided technical services including AIP, risk assessment, etc. In March 2023, CCS issued the AIP certificate for a new low-carbon emission very large gas carrier (VLGC) with OCCS to Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd., paving the way for the actual ship application of OCCS. In January 2024, CCS issued the world’s first OCCS type approval certificate to Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI), marking a new breakthrough for CCS in the field of shipping decarbonization.

CCS is actively promoting environmentally-friendly ships and clean energy technology and serving green shipping with innovative technologies. CCS is committed to providing more environmentally-friendly and more efficient navigation solutions globally, and continuously contributing its professional strength to the green development of the industry to meet the needs and expectations of industry stakeholders for green shipping.

Jointly building a green shipping development industry chain

It has been an industry consensus to promote ship emissions reduction through new energy and new technologies. However, the emission reduction target cannot be successfully achieved without the joint efforts of all parties in the industry chain. CCS has pointed out in its “2023 Low-carbon Development Outlook for Shipping”: “under new rules and mechanisms, shipping emission reduction involves many industries and entities including green fuel production and supply, ship financing, technology development, equipment manufacturing, ship operation, standards formulation, market trading, etc., far exceeding the scope of traditional shipping supply chain.” To this end, CCS calls on relevant parties to work together to promote the safe application of clean energy and green technology in the shipping industry, build a green and sustainable shipping development industry chain, and make joint efforts to achieve the lofty goal and the beautiful vision of net zero emissions in shipping as soon as possible. CCS is also actively implementing this concept through practical actions. In recent years, CCS has collaborated with all stakeholders in the industry chain to build a cooperation platform, gather multiple forces, gather wisdom from multiple parties, vigorously promote cross-industry and multidisciplinary knowledge sharing, continuously strengthen scientific and technological collaboration, and strive to provide feasible solutions for the better and faster green transformation of shipping.

CCS officially established the Laboratory for Water Application Safety of New Energy and Green Technology in 2021, and has closely cooperated with universities, research institutes, energy, shipbuilding, shipping and other industry units to seek collaborative innovation. Later, CCS has successively signed the agreement on joint construction of the New Energy and Green Technology Test Base with Zhangjiagang CIMC Sanctum Cryogenic Equipment Co., Ltd., Harbin Engineering University, etc. to jointly build new energy and green technology test bases, and cooperated to carry out research on key technologies, test verification, and regulatory standards related to clean power for ships. In addition, to promote technological cooperation between China and the international maritime community, CCS has collaborated with the global leading container shipping logistics company A.P. Moller – Maersk and representative enterprises and institutions in China and Europe to jointly launch a joint scientific research project to accelerate the decarbonization of the global shipping industry. According to the cooperation framework agreement, both parties are conducting collaborative research in three aspects: risk assessment and standards formulation of alternative fuels, assessment of lifecycle GHG emissions from ships using alternative fuels and research on their sustainability, availability, and supporting capabilities, as well as R&D of methanol/ammonia fuel container ships.

In November 2022, CCS, in collaboration with China Petrochemical Corporation, COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co., Ltd., China Merchants Energy Shipping Co., Ltd., and ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd., jointly held the launching ceremony of the “Sustainable Shipping Innovation & Development Initiative (SSIDI)” in Beijing. As a collaborative research platform, the “Initiative” will focus on conducting research on the economy, safety, technological maturity, policy regulations, fuel availability, market mechanism, etc. of the application of alternative fuels in the shipping industry, exploring the path of sustainable shipping development for the industry. By upholding the principle of “independent contribution, joint research, complementary advantages, and shared achievements”, the members of the “Initiative” have carried out research and cooperation on exploring the path of green and low-carbon development in shipping, promoting the safe application and effective supply of clean energy in the shipping field, promoting the interconnection of upstream and downstream shipping and related industries, building an industry chain of sustainable shipping innovation and development, strengthening strategic cooperation among members to address climate change, winning a good social reputation for sustainable development, etc.

In March 2024, the opening ceremony for the Lingang New Area Green Shipping Industry Alliance was held at the Lingang Center in Shanghai, which was jointly organized by CCS, the Lingang New Area Management Committee, China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd., and the Methanol Institute. The Alliance aims to accelerate the green and low-carbon transformation of the international shipping industry, promote upstream and downstream exchanges and cooperation in the industry chain, actively participate in the formulation of standards and technology R&D for green new energy including methanol, ammonia, etc., enhance the green new energy bunkering service capacity of Shanghai Port, and cultivate a carbon management team with international vision and global perspective. As an open platform and cooperation mechanism, the Alliance focuses on promoting the application of new green energy in the shipping industry, and promoting the lifecycle green, low-carbon, and sustainable development of the  shipping industry. The Alliance upholds benchmarking against the highest international standards, and attracting globally influential shipping and port enterprises, green and new energy production and preparation enterprises, green fuel bunkering service enterprises, carbon footprint monitoring and trading institutions, industry funds, etc. to jointly achieve a whole industry chain layout. In the future, CCS will closely follow the pace of ship technology innovation and development, actively promote the application of new technologies in the shipping industry, and jointly promote the new journey of green ships towards high-quality development based on the goal of achieving green and low-carbon development.

Source: China Ship Survey


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