The costs of installing carbon capture systems onboard revealed

A feasibility study conducted by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and Swedish tanker owner Stena Bulk shows the costs involved in installing carbon capture devices on ships. The study makes clear that such technology is feasible – something already demonstrated at sea in Japan by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) earlier this year – but it comes at quite a price, both in terms of installation and operating costs.

The costs for installation come in at around $30m for a system capable of capturing 90% of all CO2 emitted at sea (see chart below), while annual operating costs for such a system are estimated to be in excess of $2m a year, essentially adding another 25% to a ship’s annual operating expenses.

Despite the costs, the results from the OCGI/Stena Bulk study have encouraged the team to pursue a demonstration to validate their assumptions and uncover further opportunities.

Onboard CO2 storage developments are making plenty of headlines this year. Dutch scrubber manufacturer Value Maritime is installing a CO2 capture and storage unit on a 1,036 teu boxship, Nordica, belonging to Visser Shipping.

In South Korea, meanwhile, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has developed a technology to store CO2 captured in ship engine emissions. The South Korean yard said it plans to commercialise the technology as soon as possible.

It was also recently announced that Wärtsilä Exhaust Treatment and Solvang, a Norwegian shipping company, have agreed on a full-scale pilot retrofit installation of a CCS system on one of Solvang’s ethylene carriers, the 21,000 cu m Clipper Eos.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. An interesting achievement, however it lacks meaning when the reference is “$30m for a system capable of capturing 90% of all CO2 emitted.”
    To understand the value of the achievement the numbers must be put in the proper context. Ninety percent of what, 5,000, 10,000 50,000 MT of CO2 per annum??
    In order to evaluate onboard CC technology the capture cost per MT/CO2 must be provided.

Back to top button