Greek majors and LR launch new initiative for zero emissions

LR CEO Nick Brown speaks at the launch of the M-ERc in Athens

Greek shipping majors and Lloyd’s Register launch a new initiative that will focus on reducing the green house gas (GHG) emissions of the existing global fleet.

Capital Group, Navios Maritime Partners, Neda Maritime Agency, Star Bulk and Thenamaris get behind this initiative and launch a global Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre (M-ERC) in Athens.

The initiative is launched with the backing of five of the country’s leading shipowners and will focus on optimising the efficiency of the existing fleet.

The non-profit outfit will collaborate with Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub.

The M-ERC is being created with the goal of removing technical, investment, and community barriers for the uptake of solutions to reduce the emissions of the existing global fleet.

The new initiative will use its applied research to remove the barriers, enabling the uptake of technologies and solutions today.

It will also ensure that today’s ships are suitable for the energy transition and that seafarers and shore-based staff have the necessary training and skills.

The centre will try to attract global and regional funding to fund activities, projects and initiatives. It is anticipated that more shipping stakeholders will join the initiative in the months to come.

Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register chief executive, said: “Whilst there is much uncertainty on future fuels, the one clarity is that the less fuel used, benefits us today and beyond 2050. We need to explore every possible efficiency gain from the current fleet that we can. Energy saving technologies and operational practices will play the primary role in delivering the 30% reduction of emissions targeted by the IMO in just six years from now. So, we need to make every upcoming drydocking count and the Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre in Athens will support our industry to evaluate and implement existing and new solutions.”

Evangelos Marinakis, chairman and founder, Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. said: “We are proud to be a part of this alliance that aims to establish an ecosystem for research and innovation in the shipping industry in Greece. Energy transition in the shipping industry is a challenge that necessitates collective forces. Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre is the implementation act of this initiative, and it is our duty to participate in this first movers’ alliance, an international decarbonization maritime hub, where knowledge, skills, innovation, and research are shared. Its goal is to collaboratively work towards achieving a feasible, safe and sustainable decarbonization pathway for the maritime fleet.”

Angeliki Frangou, chairwoman and chief executive of Navios Maritime Partners, said: “Navios believes in the fundamental importance of developing appropriate technologies and solutions for reducing carbon emissions. As responsible members of the global community, we continue to investigate novel approaches for solving this complex problem. Participating in the establishment of the global Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre is another example of our commitment to this effort.  We are delighted to collaborate with Lloyd’s Register, and we hope our collective efforts will bear fruits in the short term”.

George Thanopoulos, Neda Maritime Agency chief executive, said: “We believe that the establishment of the M-ERC in Athens will significantly enhance the shipping industry’s efforts towards a sustainable future. We are delighted to collaborate with LRS and leading ship owners, to pave the way for introduction and evaluation of environmentally friendly, safe and innovative technological solutions with emphasis on the existing fleet.”

Charis Plakantonaki, chief strategy officer, Star Bulk Carriers, said: “At Star Bulk, we are excited to collaborate with our Greek shipping colleagues and Lloyd’s Register in founding the Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre. This initiative reflects our shared commitment to driving sustainable change and underscores the role of Athens as a global maritime hub. By leveraging Greece’s shipping heritage and expertise, we are able to take steps today to improve the energy efficiency of the world fleet and to reduce the carbon footprint of our industry.”

Nikolas Martinos, Thenamaris chief executive, said: “We firmly believe in the power of collaboration to accelerate the decarbonization of the maritime industry.  There is a pressing need to identify and implement safe and practical solutions as we transition to the fuels and technologies of the future.  As a Founding Member of the Maritime Emissions Reduction Centre, Thenamaris is committed to being an active partner in this initiative.”