As an energy company Shell plays a role in the shipping industry as a charterer, owner and ship manager operator of vessels, and also as a service provider of fuels and lubricants. With the world, including shipping, shifting to alternative forms of energy and seeking to reduce its carbon footprint, this gives Shell an understanding of the process from a multi-faceted perspective.
Based in Singapore Nick Potter is General Manager, Shell Shipping & Maritime for Asia Pacific & Middle East. Explaining the scale of the maritime business, he says that as one of the world’s largest charterers, the company has 1,000 vessels on the water in any given day. He adds that a transfer of cargo takes place every six minutes somewhere around the globe, with a significant portion of that in Asia.
Shell charters across bareboat, time charter and spot, and is a ship manager as well with 26 LNG carriers and crude and products tankers managed from London. Supporting these vessels, it has a pool of over 2,000 seafarers who are employed from Singapore.
Using alternative fuels in shipping
As both a user and seller of fuels, Shell is increasingly involved in alternative fuels such as LNG, and the development of new low and zero carbon fuels. “So, we wear a few hats, which is actually really valuable when we sit down and try and understand some of the real issues that shipowners in the industry have as we can see it from multiple perspectives,” Potter explains in a recent interview for Seatrade Maritime's Special Report on Singapore.
With new fuels Shell is able to carry out, develop and test on its own-operated vessels and this allows it to understand shipowners’ challenges, as well as how technology can be applied to help solve these challenges.
Potter notes that with future fuels, as well as LNG, there is a need to unlock technology and safety challenges and that it is very important Shell supports this. The company is highly active around development areas that include energy efficient technologies, future propulsion such as fuel cells and batteries, and safety issues when it comes to working with these fuels.
Potter states that safety is Shell’s number one priority and this is key in the shipping partners that it chooses to work with.
Make sure you pick-up a hard copy of the Special Report at Sea Asia 2023 in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands from 25 - 27 April