July 19, 2023: The UK-based design and engineering consultancy firm, Houlder, and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (Shell), have formed a collaborative partnership aimed at identifying, evaluating and advancing innovative solutions to expedite the process of decarbonising the maritime sector. The partnership will concentrate on enhancing both existing ships through retrofitting and constructing new vessels, aiming to bring advantages to the broader maritime industry.

Moreover, the partnership will encompass various areas of focus, including conducting market research, performing technical evaluations of eco-friendly solutions from a design and engineering standpoint, conducting safety and risk assessment studies and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts.

Shell and Houlder are actively engaged in cooperative efforts and alliances with similar-minded entities. Their primary objective is to witness the deployment of commercial ships with reduced emissions in the seas by the 2030s. They are confident that a combination of existing technologies and fuels can make this goal achievable. However, they acknowledge that more transformative changes will be necessary to fully align with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions by around 2050.

Houlder emphasises that safety constitutes a crucial aspect of this agreement. As the pursuit of maritime decarbonisation entails the adoption of novel technologies and operational practices, ensuring safety remains a primary concern for the industry. Implementing changes could introduce potential risks that might not be fully addressed or eliminated by the existing standards, skills and procedures in use today.

Houlder is currently engaged in developing the initial design ideas for liquid hydrogen (LH2) carriers and conducting research into the potential applications of hydrogen as both cargo and fuel in collaboration with Shell.

The success of this partnership may inspire further collaborations and foster a broader adoption of cleaner energy solutions, not only within the shipping industry but across various sectors, propelling us closer to a cleaner, more resilient planet for generations to come.