South Korea: A $869m Initiative for green ship tech

At the end of last year, South Korea announced that is going to allocate around KRW 960bn ($869m) to support eco-friendly ship technology development projects as part of its latest 2030 Green Ship-K Initiative.

The “2030 Green Ship-K Initiative” is part of the Korean government implemented Act on Promotion of the Development and Distribution of Eco-friendly Ships which is set every 10 years but reviewed every 5 years.

The initiative is in response to upcoming environmental regulations set by the IMO, the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), and the general paradigm shift in the global maritime industry towards more environmentally friendly ships. South Korea aims this way to reduce 40% of GHG from ships within the next 25 years and 70% of GHG in 30 years with a long run goal to develop carbon-free maritime fuel technology such as hydrogen and ammonia.

Besides the construction of more than 10 pilot ships demonstrating eco-friendly technology such as LNG bunkering ships and LNG-ammonia mixed propulsion ships, the ministry also plans to promote the retrofit of existing ships to become eco-friendly, achieving a conversion rate of 15% by utilising commercially viable technologies such as LNG or hybrid retrofits.

Additionally, the infrastructure for supplying green fuels such as LNG and electric power will be gradually expanded.

Before 2030, the reduction in emissions is not expected to be significant as much preparations will be needed, but it is expected that the effects of the technological developments will impact the industry in a meaningful way from 2030 onwards, said the Ministry. 

The transition to eco-friendly ships is an inevitable obligation under international norms, and as a new challenge in the shipping and shipbuilding sectors, it will serve as an opportunity to advance the industrial ecosystem to the next level,” the ministry said. 

 “With a smooth implementation of this initiative, we will actively support shipping, shipbuilding, and maritime equipment industries to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 and create a sustainable ecosystem while developing into a new growth engine that leads to a new era, it added.

Photo credit: South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries

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