Boskalis consortium secures research grant to advance emission-free shipping

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A broader maritime consortium in which Boskalis is participant has been awarded a EUR 24 million grant to conduct research into accelerating the use of methanol as a low-carbon fuel within the shipping industry. Methanol can enable significant reductions in CO2 emissions compared to traditional fuels and is viewed within the international maritime sector as one of the most feasible ‘clean’ fuels for large-scale adoption by the industry.

The program is entitled Methanol as an Energy Step Towards Zero-Emission Dutch Shipping and sponsored by the Dutch Government’s Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (Netherlands Enterprise Agency). The research project aims to develop clean energy technology with a high degree of flexibility and broad applications within the shipping industry, from yacht building to offshore work ships and high-powered dredgers. The total research budget amounts to approximately EUR 38 million including a contribution from Boskalis. The consortium, which includes ship owners, yards, suppliers of specialist maritime equipment and knowledge institutions, will retrofit six different vessel types to test the viability of methanol fuel systems.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, “Alternative fuel types are the most significant driver for developing a more sustainable maritime industry and we continue to be at the forefront of initiatives exploring the emission-reduction potential presented by methanol and other clean technologies. This research program looking into the use of methanol as a low-carbon fuel is another important step along the road to realizing net-zero objective.”

‎Boskalis is already part of a joint industry project known as the Green Maritime Methanol Consortium which has previously investigated the feasibility of methanol as a sustainable fuel for the maritime sector. A 2020 study supported by TKI Maritiem and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy demonstrated that the use of methanol is not yet economically viable for retrofit in Boskalis’ vessels, however further research is currently being carried out with regard to its suitability for new-build vessels.

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