Press Release: Future Energy Options for Great Lakes Shipping

To read the full press release, click here.

A comprehensive new report that examines the future of lower-carbon shipping fuels for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway maritime system was released by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP), the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The report, Feasibility Study of Future Energy Options for Great Lakes Shipping, assesses a range of fuels that could be used to help decarbonize the regional maritime system. The report finds that each fuel alternative would initially cost more than traditional fuels but that different short and long-term strategies could be used to manage costs.

In 2022, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence maritime system transported over 135.7 million tons of cargo valued at US$26.1 billion. The current shipping emissions on the entire Great Lakes St. Lawrence system are equivalent to the annual emissions of about 250,000 cars. With shipping generating the lowest emissions per ton of cargo moved compared to any other means of transportation, we can reduce overall regional transportation-related emissions by increasing maritime cargoes.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Short-term (through 2030): Expand vessel electrification. Harborcraft and tugs are likely the most suitable for direct electrification. Biofuel, depending on how it is created, also holds potential for emissions reduction.
  • Medium-term (through 2040): Explore zero-emission fuels. Methanol, ammonia, and liquid hydrogen hold potential as fuel alternatives.
  • Long-term (through 2050): Replace fossil fuels with zero-emission fuels where feasible. With a diverse range of options, regional collaboration will be key to support ports and terminals’ ability to provide the fuels of the future.

To read the full press release, click here.

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