Investment plan

Decarbonization program is a driver of Ocean Network Express’ vessel investment plan

Ocean Network Express’ (ONE) $20 billion investment plan is largely driven by the company’s green strategy, according to chief executive Jeremy Nixon.

The new ships that will join ONE’s fleet by 2030 will help the company meet its key target of reducing carbon emissions by around 70% compared to the 2008 baseline – and its ultimate goal is to achieve the net zero carbon.

ONE, a founding partner of the Singapore-based Global Center for Maritime Decarbonisation and a participant in other green industry initiatives, explores different types of fuels – hydrogen, methanol and ammonia – and learns which of them will be most suitable for long term.

“The challenge we have today is that due to the large size of the vessels, the long distances they work over and the need for very high energy efficiency, in terms of fuel types, we don’t have currently no large sustainable volumes of environmentally friendly fuel in the quantities we need,” Nixon said.

ONE is also looking at ways to reduce emissions from its existing fleet through carbon capture technology and other ways to improve efficiency.

“At this point, I don’t think any particular shipping company is going to get tricked into being very definitive on a particular technology or a particular type of fuel,” Nixon said. “We will continue to evaluate it year after year.

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“We will be looking at the commercial scope of the vessels involved, and therefore what are the types of fuel and bunkering facilities available there, and also what will be the comparative prices of that?

“Each year as we make this investment choice, we will look at the very latest technologies and try to ensure that we are making the right decision in the short, medium and long term.”

Nixon believes the push towards more efficient ships will nullify any potential for overcapacity in the rafts of new container ships currently on order.

As environmental thresholds and regulations are tightened over the next decade, less efficient ships will either have to be taken out of service or slowed down, which he says will impact the supply of the container ship industry.