Leading Classification Society ClassNK, in cooperation with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) group, will conduct test operations and measurements for a small scale ship-based CO2 capture demonstration plant, in order to verify the equipment’s use as a marine-based CO2 capture system. This project is being conducted with support from the Maritime Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), as part of its assistance project for research and development of technological advancements in marine resources development.

The demonstration involves converting the design of an existing CO2 capture system for onshore power plant to marine environment, and installing on board an actual ship in service. This project, called “Carbon Capture on the Ocean” (CC-Ocean), is intended to achieve CO2 capture at sea, a world first.

The project is planned to last for two years. In August 2020, with verification from ClassNK, a hazard identification (HazID) study will be launched for the design of the demonstration plant and the onboard installation. Manufacturing of the small scale CO2 capture demonstration plant and safety assessment of the system will be conducted by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding. The demonstration plant will be manufactured in mid-2021, and following operational tests at the factory, will be installed on board a coal carrier for Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. operated by ”K” Line. Through operational and performance confirmation in an actual marine environment, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will determine the system specification requirements as a marine-based device and will also consider how to make the plant more compact.

This demonstration experiment conducted at sea is the first of its kind in the world. The knowledge gained will be used for future development of technologies and systems to capture CO2 from the exhaust gases of marine equipment and ships. Further, the captured CO2 can be recycled for use as a new source of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes, or as raw material in synthetic fuel, providing a significant contribution to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

For contributing to reductions in GHG emissions, ClassNK engages in safety assessment and verification on the entire project and will utilize outcomes to develop its standards related to CO2 capture technology.