Collaboration between stakeholders is needed for the shipping industry to meet its decarbonisation goals, shipowners told a London conference yesterday.

“As an industry, as a group, we have to work with the customers to change things,” Ridgebury Tankers chief financial officer Hew Crooks told the Marine Money conference.

Shipowners panel: Alex Slee, Kim Balle, Hew Crooks, Mark Took at the Marine Money in London yesterday. Photo: Ian Lewis

“Collaboration is happening all over the place,” he added. But without collaboration, tonnage providers would be limited to decarbonisation investments with payback, he added.

There was little that smaller and mid-sized shipowners could achieve without governmental help to reach their 2050 targets.

But there were many short-term measures that tonnage providers could deploy to minimise carbon emissions, he said.

Pooling helps

Pooling of vessels could help shipowners with limited financial means to meet short term decarbonisation goals, said Carlos Pena Pellegrini, chief commercial officer of bulker portal C Transport Maritime.

That was partly because the investment in technology needed for smaller owners was too high.

“We have to look for partnerships with our clients and to be aligned with them,” Pellegrini said.

Scale was also important in order to provide access to capital, partners and service providers, added Alex Slee, chief operating officer of Taylor Maritime Investments.

He added the London-listed company was very selective on its long-term charterers with a view to working together on projects.

Moderator Mark Tooke of law firm Watson Farley & Williams noted several industry players are also increasingly exploring joint ventures.

These were the optimum way to develop and implement new technology, he said.

But partnerships and joint-ventures with manufacturers or technology providers could be “tricky” if the company did not have control, said Torm chief financial officer Kim Balle.

The product tanker operator had been willing to enter into partnerships where it had a meaningful stake, he said.

Balle said there were a lot of decarbonisation initiatives that really make sense from a business point of view.

The panel concluded that the biggest obstacle to investment in decarbonisation was the cost and uncertainty of developing technology.

“The short-term is about minimising energy and carbon emissions in the meantime — while recognising that not enough for the long-term,” Crooks said.