CO2 shipping transport, once a very niche business, has been gaining traction recently. Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) announced on March 19th, its investment in Larvik Shipping, a Norwegian company that operates liquefied CO2 tankers in Europe.
The stake of MOL in Larvik Shipping is now 25%, obtained for an undisclosed sum. With the deal, MOL aims to support the potential market demand from the growing number of CCS projects for CO2 transportation and storage.
“Liquefied CO2 ocean transport plays a key role in carbon dioxide capture utilization and storage value chains as a means of effectively connecting collection sites with storage or usage sites,” MOL explained in a release.
Larvik Shipping has been in the industrial liquefied CO2 business in Europe for over 30 years. It is one of very few companies in the world qualified to operate liquified CO2 vessels for food grade CO2.
So far, the primary demand for carbon dioxide has come from hospitals, breweries, and the food industry. With MOL on board, the two companies plan to design and order larger ship types to carry the chilled CO2 or dry ice.
MOL is taking major steps towards implementing its environmental strategy. Its goal is to develop the emissions-free transport sector as a core business area. The company decided to enter the CO2 shipping business, along with looking into LNG-fuelled ferries and wind-powered coal ships. It is aiming to reduce the CO2 emissions from its vessels with 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.
MHI Interested In CO2 Transport Business
Other Japanese companies like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) are also planning to enter the CO2 seaborne trade. The company set a goal to commercialise a CO2 carrier design by 2025 to service the CCUS sector.
Opportunities for the CO2 shipping transport are rising in recent years. Companies are expanding partnerships trying to build know-how to tap into the growing business potential of the CCUS industry.