Press release

Carbon capture project by Wah Kwong and Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI) receives Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas

Jun. 21 2023

Approval in Principle follows joint study that confirms feasibility of retrofitting carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology onboard existing ships.

Paris La Défense, France – 21 June 2023: Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection and certification, has delivered an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, a Hong Kong shipowner, and Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project onboard two Wah Kwong vessels.

The AiP, which was delivered at a ceremony held at BV’s Shanghai office, follows a joint study led by BV, Wah Kwong and SMDERI, which validated the technical feasibility of using CCS technology on existing vessels.

Based on the specific design parameters of the vessels, SMDERI developed a customized design of a CCS unit for the two vessels. The CCS unit has passed laboratory tests, achieving over 85% CO2 capture from the exhaust gas flow, and is being continuously optimised and upgraded. The system is based on an organic amine solution which extracts CO2 from exhaust gas, before it is cooled into liquid form and stored in a low temperature storage tank.

The study also showed that CCS enabled the two vessels to remain compliant by maintaining their CII rating at a C level until 2030. It considered all aspects of retrofit space, operational impact, CAPEX and OPEX, as well as the upcoming EU ETS, to assess the future investment and revenue expectations for each vessel.

Download our Feasibility Study and Design on Installing Carbon Capture and Storage Units on Existing Ships

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BV provided comprehensive support for the project, from vessel selection in the early stages of the project, to the design layout of the CCS system on board, certification and cost analysis. BV reviewed the plans according to existing regulations and rules to ensure the safety of the vessels and equipment, and validate that the carbon emission reduction targets are effectively achieved during the operation of the vessels.

The project aims to support the future commercial application of CCS technology in the maritime sector, providing a clear analysis to guide decision-making by ship owners and related parties, especially for older vessels in operation.

Hing Chao, Executive Chairman of Wah Kwong, said: “With regulations such as the IMO’s CII and the EU ETS coming into force for shipping, it is essential to ensure compliance and to reduce the carbon footprint of existing vessels for years to come. Carbon capture and storage technology is one of the net-zero solutions currently available. Wah Kwong takes a holistic approach to sustainability and is proud to work with Bureau Veritas and SMDERI Technology on this pioneering application of CCS for the maritime sector, which is now validated with the issuance of an AiP. We hope this would encourage further studies or advance implementation of the CCS technology.

Mr. Jianfu DONG, President at Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI), said: “Carbon capture and storage technology has been available for several decades, notably in industrial projects on shore, but only recently have we started to deploy its considerable potential for the maritime industry. We are proud to receive this Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas, which confirms the viability of our carbon capture technology as a retrofit solution to reduce CO2 emissions from existing ships. Our hope is that this innovative project will also help spur the development and implementation of CCS technology in shipping more broadly.

Picture caption (in the left order):  Mr.Steven WANG, Mach Section Manager, CPO  (BV); Capt. Changzheng CHEN , Operations and Buisiness Development Director(Wah Kwong); Mr. Hui YAO, President's assistant/General Manager, Ministry of Planning and Industry(SMDERI); Mr. Jianfu DONG,  President (SMDERI); Mr.Bill CHEN, Deputy Chief Executive (BV); Mr. Hing CHAO, Executive Chairman(Wah Kwong); Capt. Jianfeng ZHOU, Managing director; Dr. Huatao JIANG, Director of Innovation North Asia Zone, Director of M&S (BV); Mr. Hare Ram Sah, Fleet Director (Wah Kwong); Mr.Daniel SONG, Head of Expertise Center, I&TD (BV)

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Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore

At BV, we are committed to supporting shipping stakeholders in their decarbonization journeys, helping our clients comply with environmental regulations, implement green solutions onboard, and measure decarbonisation progress. In an era of fast-evolving regulations and technology, the independent expertise of classification societies will help shipowners identify the best solutions for their ships, taking into account the practicalities of fleet operations. This project is a great example of collaboration, with all parties coming together to ensure the safe development and deployment of technology that will support more sustainable shipping.