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World’s first zero emission bulk carrier moves a step closer

A lucrative long-term shipping contract is up for grabs to shift grain and raw materials domestically for two large companies in Norway. The catch? The ships must be emissions free. This forms the next part of an ambitious logistics strategy hatched by HeidelbergCement and Felleskjøpet Agri who this Friday will host an event to drum up support among shipping lines and shipyards to buy into zero emissions technology. 

The two companies have been carrying out a project combining two cargo owners’ logistics between the east and the west of Norway, under the hypothesis that the total goods flow combined with long-term chartering contracts can make it possible to realise a zero-emission bulk carrier.

The plan is part of a larger national mission to get more cargoes moved by sea rather than by road. 

The small-sized bulk and general cargo fleet used for domestic coastal transport in Norway has an average age of approximately 30 years. 

Prominent backer of the Norwegian campaign to reinvigorate its coastal bulker fleet is local shipbuilder Vard, which has developed its own zero emissions bulker design (pictured). 

Last month the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association announced that its members have set a goal to have the entire Norwegian fleet carbon neutral by 2050.

Harald Solberg, CEO of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, said at the time: “Norwegian shipping is leading the way in setting high ambitions for the development of new and profitable green technology.

“We have high ambitions, even in areas that today do not have commercially available technological solutions. We believe ambitious goals will help accelerate the necessary development. This means that the entire industry, in collaboration with the authorities, both nationally and internationally, must engage in developing new solutions.”

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.
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