Two Danish shipping companies – Evergas and Ultragas – have joined forces in a joint venture called Dan-Unity CO2 to start shipping carbon dioxide. Dan-Unity CO2 is now working on developing a cargo tank design and system for semi-ref gas carriers several times larger than the few smaller CO2 carriers in operation today. In addition, the project will involve the development of a pre-ship design with a CO2 neutral propulsion that will ensure future operation in accordance with the IMO’s 2030 goals.
The three sizes of semi-ref gas carriers are going to be 50,000 cu m, 20,000 cu m and 7,000 cu m, all far larger than today’s existing CO2 carriers which typically are less than 4,000 cu m.
Dan-Unity CO2 has received a grant from the Danish Maritime Fund to support the development of the new ships.
“Seaborne transport of CO2 may become commercially relevant for Danish shipping companies and at the same time an opportunity for Danish shipping to contribute to addressing the climate ambitions in Denmark,” the new joint venture stated in a release on its website.
Until now, the movement of carbon dioxide cargoes at sea has been a very niche trade, but a host of developments in the last 15 months suggest CO2 has a bright future as growing trade.
Japan’s largest shipowner in dwt terms, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), in March invested in Norway-based Larvik Shipping, a pioneer in this unique trade. Details of the stake and amount invested were not revealed.
Larvik Shipping has managed industrial liquefied CO2 tankers serving Europe for over 30 years. With MOL onboard, the two companies will set about designing and ordering larger ship types to carry the chilled CO2 or dry ice.
Asian shipyards are bringing forward CO2 carrier designs with a view to commercialising them by the middle of the decade.