Event Recap: ISCC Technical Stakeholder Meeting “Sustainable Marine Fuels”

During our kickoff meeting in May 2022 participants expressed their clear interest for ISCC to establish a dedicated Technical Stakeholder Committee on Sustainable Marine Fuels (SMF) and we are happy to have held it on 26 January 2023 with over 260 participants joining from around the world! The meeting started with welcoming words from Gernot Klepper, Chairman of the ISCC Association and the election of the Co-Chairs for the newly established committee. We congratulate Ingrid Marie Andersen (Mærsk) and Nicolas Robbins (bp) on their new positions!

In the first presentation of the day, Thomas Bock pointed to ISCC’s commitment to supporting the uptake of SMF through credible certification of e.g. biomethanol, bio-LNG, biodiesel as well as green hydrogen and derivatives. Complementing the standard ISCC certification, ISCC is also developing a credit transfer system, allowing for full end-to-end traceability and verification of SMF claims.

Camille Bourgeon of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) spoke about measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. He drew conclusions from a decade of regulatory action and elaborated on IMO’s plans for swiftly reducing GHG emissions from shipping in the coming decades, including the development of guidance for third-party verification and certification schemes. We then heard about EU regulation from Ricardo Batista from the European Commission. He summarized the FuelEU Maritime regulation and provided insights into selected key issues being discussed in ongoing negotiations, such as the possibility of certifying actual upstream emission factors for fossil fuels. The negotiation process is expected to conclude in Spring 2023.

Stefka Wechsler from Argus Media presented the pricing and current landscape of sustainable marine fuels pointing out that SMFs, particularly ammonia, hydrogen and biomethanol, are currently significantly more expensive compared to VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil), even factoring in the cost of CO2 emissions and the EU tax for the latter. Nicolas Robbins informed us about bp’s journey to making bio marine blends business as usual and to taking FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) marine blends to new markets. Jennifer Hoppe of PROMAN followed up by talking about the expansion of methanol supply.

After hearing from the producer side of the aisle, Cees Boon then outlined the Port of Rotterdam‘s point of view on integrating SMF into port infrastructure. He pointed out that the state of port readiness and the timetable for each port differ depending on its function and divided the state of readiness into nine different phases, starting with research and development and ending with final deployment. Giovanna Croxatto Vega from Mærsk took a holistic approach, addressing sustainability definitions and the risk of a tunnel vision on carbon. She stressed the importance of consistency, noting that shipping would benefit from a globally applicable system that includes robust, forward-looking sustainability criteria, coherent, transboundary GHG accounting, flexible fuel bunkering logistics, and inclusion in incentive schemes. Kathrin Brost from DPDHL, like previous speakers, emphasized the importance of integrating book & claim elements in overcoming SMF availability constraints and helping to scale up the market.

We thank all participants and speakers for their contributions and look forward to our next meeting that will likely be happening in a hybrid format.

To the presentations