Arthur English, ceo at G2 Ocean, speaks on the carrier’s second consecutive record year of project cargo volumes, and the steps it has taken to reduce the carbon intensity of its fleet.

G2 Ocean’s record project cargo volumes and dual-fuel fleet expansion

Source: G2 Ocean

English described 2023 as a turbulent year in the dry bulk market with substantial fluctuations, although it experienced a second consecutive year of record-high project cargo volumes and its heaviest single cargo lift, a reactor weighing 376 tonnes. “We continue to expand the project cargo segment, while concurrently increasing overall revenue ton volumes, which showcases a forward-looking approach to balancing growth and specialisation.”

The carrier, owned by Grieg and Gearbulk, has embarked on a newbuilding programme. The open hatch/multipurpose vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2026 and in 2027. “These investments will significantly increase our carrying capacity for project cargoes whilst also nearly doubling our lift capabilities. We believe this will position us to serve a broader cargo segment and even more clients,” English said.

Eight 82,300 dwt newbuilds will come equipped with dual-fuel engines capable of operating both on fuel oil and ammonia or methanol. “These vessels, as well as future additions, will not only enhance our service offerings but also significantly reduce emissions from our vessel operations in the long run.”

He drew attention to environmental regulations such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, EU ETS, and the upcoming FuelEU Maritime (FEM), which “are certainly having and will continue to have a significant impact on our business and the industry as a whole. These regulations are not only driving us to reduce emissions and the carbon intensity of our fleet but also requiring us to comply with stricter and broader sustainability reporting requirements”.

English explained that G2 Ocean has set a target of reducing the carbon intensity of its vessels by a minimum of 40 percent by 2030 compared to 2008 levels and becoming a net-zero emissions company by 2050. A roadmap has been drawn up to achieve these goals, taking in slow steaming, improving efficiencies in port, optimising vessel performance and the adoption of alternative fuels. “Since 2018, our first full year of operations, we’ve increased our vessel days by 14.4 percent while simultaneously reducing our CO2 emissions per vessel day by nearly 13 percent,” said English.

To speed up the transition, English called for regulatory changes that accelerate investments into the production of green fuels and its infrastructure. He is also calling on greater support from its customers: “We need suppliers who can deliver green fuels and customers who are willing to pay for green shipping solutions.” 

The introduction of FEM is close at hand. It sets well-to-wake greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity requirements on energy used on board ships over 5,000 GT trading to, form and within the EU and EEA. Coming into effect on January 1, 2025, the EU has set a 2 percent reduction requirement from a defined baseline, tightening to an 80 percent reduction in 2050. 

As a result, biofuel as a drop in solution for existing vessels will be in high demand. “Biofuel does come at a higher cost compared to maritime fuel. And looking ahead, we anticipate that the price will continue to rise. This is mainly because of the increased demand driven by stricter regulation and growing pressure from customers for more sustainable shipping options.” 

G2 has been integrating biofuels into its activities and it is currently using a blend of 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent residual fuel permanently on one of our vessels. “We are also exploring ways to increase the uptake of biofuel, like carbon insetting. This will not only help us reduce our Scope 1 emissions, but also support our customers to lower emissions within their own supply chains,” English explained.