Reexamining the potential of CCUS technology

Reexamining the potential of CCUS technology

Jan. 28 2022

There are several options for the long-term decarbonization of the shipping industry, and while they show promise, the necessary infrastructure, funding and regulation is lacking. For those looking to reduce their emissions and environmental impact without delay, more immediately actionable solutions are required.

Choosing carbon capture, storage and utilization

The marine industry has recently taken interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology as a short-to-mid-term solution for decarbonization. A proven technology used by several other industries, CCUS enables CO2 to be removed from emissions. The captured CO2 is then compressed, liquefied and stored, and can be transported to facilities for reuse or permanent storage. First used for oil and gas operations, CCUS is now being applied to ships, with governments across Europe funding onboard CCUS projects.

The advantages of CCUS technology

CCUS has been tested and used with success in onshore sites. Consequently, it has the advantage of being a mature and readily available technology. Before a vessel even reaches the water, CCUS enables project owners to decarbonize their supply and production chains. Most importantly for an operational ship, CCUS technology ensures that harmful exhaust emissions never even enter the atmosphere. When used in tandem with exhaust gas cleaning equipment such as scrubbers, CCUS can contribute to reducing up to 90% of a ship’s emissions.

What shipowners need to know

CCUS is not without its safety challenges, including the risk of CO2 leakage, which can seriously harm crew members. Nonetheless, CCUS is an established technology, for which the risks are well understood and manageable, as demonstrated by other industries.

More broadly, marine industry stakeholders will need to address the lack of CO2 storage facilities available onshore. While liquid CO2 has long been held onboard and transported at scale, infrastructure for offloading CO2 remains limited. Developing further facilities, particularly at port, will be a necessary condition for using CCUS onboard.

Bureau Veritas services for CCUS

As a classification society, Bureau Veritas is dedicated to pioneering safety and performance and helping shipowners make the right choices for their vessels and our oceans and waterways. We support equipment manufacturers in managing risk for CCUS technology, and offer safety assessments for vessels being redesigned to include CCUS equipment. We help shipowners integrate piping systems for waste heat recovery, compression and liquefaction onboard, and provide approval for equipment, material and exhaust treatment systems.

Through these services, Bureau Veritas can support the development of renewable energy technologies and help shipowners embrace decarbonization. This goal is what unites us with other marine stakeholders, enabling us to protect the seas and shape a better maritime world for future generations.