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Live from CMA Shipping 2021

The cost of zero carbon shipping won’t kill the consumer: Arntzen

Morten Arntzen, Executive Chairman, Team Tankers International talks about why it's the most exciting time in his 40-year career in shipping, and why the cost of decarbonizing shipping won’t kill the economy.

Seatrade Maritime News: With all the difficulties currently being felt in the world, is it a good or bad time to be a shipowner?

Morten Arntzen: It's probably the most exciting time to be in shipping. And I've been in the business 40 years. And I think this is the most interesting time to be in shipping because we have to come up with whole new models. I think it also has a chance to make the industry more profitable. It's a great time to attract new people in so now this is a great time to be in shipping.

Seatrade Maritime News: One of the biggest challenges we currently face is the transition to a zero carbon future. How are we going to achieve that?

Morten Arntzen: It's hard to answer that simply, I'd say the first part is that the world still needs these existing ships on the water. So, the first part is managing the transition of the ships in the water, which for owners means every year, you have to make them more efficient, they have to have a smaller carbon footprint.

That means big capital investments on the ships, everything from special propellers and ducts, to new paints on the bottom, to using digital information to get better weather routing, to timely delivery import to spend less use less power when you're you're waiting to unload or take your cargo. So, it's small things and big things. That's for the ones on the water.

For the next generation, the zero emission vessels, they're not available in the shipyards yet. The first ones will come out will be ammonia powered ships, and MAN, the big engine manufacturer has promised the world they'll actually have an engine available in two years. So the world will have a first shot at a zero emission vessel. And there's going to have to be a collaboration between owners and cargo, who'll put that into use. They'll figure out how it'll run and then gradually if that if it works, and it can find ammonia fuel price competitively, that'll start coming to play.

So that's the jump. There's their transition to things in the water, the jump to the new technologies.

Seatrade Maritime News: How is the world going to pay for it?

Morten Arntzen: The short answer is shipping is an extraordinarily efficient means of transportation by far the most efficient, and by far the most carbon and least carbon emitting, but we will have to improve.

But it won't be dollars of cost to the consumer, it'll be pennies. So the gallon of gasoline, which has five cents of transportation costs today may have eight cents tommorrow. So a little bit more, but it's not going to kill the consumer. The Heineken will cost another penny or two to get transported, but it won't kill the joy the beer. So the world will have to pay more, but it's not going to it's not going to kill the economy.

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