International Seminar on Maritime Decarbonization by Enabling Key Technology Symbiosis

On 16 & 17 May, the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted an international seminar focusing on energy-saving technologies and alternative energy sources working in synergy for reducing carbon emissions from ships and ports. The seminar marked the conclusion of the CHEK project (deCarbonising sHipping by Enabling Key technology symbiosis on real vessel concept designs) and was attended by roughly 90 participants from over 30 countries.

In opening remarks, WMU President, Professor Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr., noted the importance of technologies needing to work together in symbiosis, i.e. ‘a cooperative relationship’ on the same vessel, or in synergy in ports. “Collaboration and cooperation are key to achieving decarbonization across the industry, and for us to achieve our common aim of decarbonizing international shipping globally,” said President Mejia.

The seminar featured presentations by officials from the European Commission, the maritime industry and academia. Funding for the seminar was provided by the EU Horizon 2020 funded initiative CHEK project (deCarbonising sHipping by Enabling Key technology symbiosis on real vessel concept designs, under grant agreement No 955286), and the EU Horizon Europe funded project SEANERGY (Sustainability EducationAl programme for greeNER fuels and enerGY on ports). The plenary session provided policy insights from the European Commission, followed by presentations on WMU Transport 2040: Technology Roadmap with a focus on maritime decarbonization and on the IMO Maritime Just Transition Taskforce Project on Baseline Training Framework for Seafarers in Decarbonization.

About Project CHEK

Project CHEK is a three-year initiative that commenced in June 2021 and concluded in May 2024. CHEK is led by a consortium including University of Vaasa (as the coordinator), WMU, Wärtsilä, Cargill, MSC Cruises, Lloyd’s Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon, Manta Marine Technologies (formerly Yara Marine Technologies), and BAR Technologies. 

The primary objective of CHEK is to demonstrate two future vessel designs - a wind energy optimized bulk carrier and a hydrogen-powered cruise ship—that incorporate an array of cutting-edge energy technologies working in synergy. The project succeeded in demonstrating that it is possible to reduce GHG emissions by 99% and 95% black carbon from ships while achieving a minimum 50% reduction in energy consumption using existing technology working in symbiosis.

About Project SEANERGY

Project SEANERGY commenced in October 2022, and is ongoing until March 2025. The project aim is zero-emission ports that are clean energy hubs for integrated electricity systems, hydrogen, and other low-carbon fuels, as well as testbeds for waste reuse and the circular economy through the creation of the SEANERGY Master Plan. In addition to WMU, the project partners include Magellan Circle, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, RINA, Fundación Valenciaport, Ennshafen OÖ GmbH, The Diktyo, SL Δίκτυο ΔΑΦΝΗ / DAFNI Network, Future Proof Shipping, Eco Imagination, ATPERSON, ZER0-E Engineering, and Anleg GmbH. 

Maritime Decarbonization at WMU

Through cutting-edge education and research in the Maritime Energy Management (MEM) field, WMU works to support the achievement of sustainable, zero/low-carbon and energy-efficient maritime and ocean industries. WMU’s MEM educational offerings include the groundbreaking MEM MSc specialization that was introduced in 2015, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maritime Energy delivered by distance learning. WMU’s Maritime Energy Management Research Priority Area focuses on the fundamental understanding of energy in a maritime context and the application of evidence-based knowledge across the field from ships to ports, and from oceans to shipyards, to ensure the cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly use of resources. The book Trends and Challenges in Maritime Energy Management, was published in 2018 as an outcome of the International Conference on Maritime Energy Management (MARENER 2017) hosted at WMU in 2017. It was one of the most downloaded books in its category in 2018. Since 2022, the WMU Summer Academy on Maritime Decarbonization has brought maritime professionals together at WMU for a week-long, intensive programme focused on the opportunities and challenges surrounding the reduction of GHG emissions from shipping. The Maritime Decarbonization Summer Academy programme is being offered again in 2024.

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