Seatrade Maritime News : How can we make sense of the tensions playing out in the commodity markets as we emerge from the pandemic and simultaneously try to arrest global warming?
Lois Zabrocky: What we’re experiencing right now as a world, I think, is one of the key challenges. So what are we seeing, we’re seeing intense energy demand as we’re rebounding off the pandemic. And in order to meet that demand you’re having a call on natural gas, but also on coal, oil. And I think that we still need to transition, we still need to have investment in hydrocarbons, while we’re transitioning toward a decarbonised future, so that you can provide energy to the world.
Seatrade Maritime News: As a tanker owner building new ships, how do you navigate the uncertainty around decarbonization?
Lois Zabrocky: So, one of the things that I really think is we’re going to see happen, we’re going to have a multi-fuel future. And that one of the challenges of international shipping is that we have long voyages, and that’s a harder to abate sector. So, for us, it’s going to take more than just, you know, localised batteries, but now, we’re going to see different solutions, whether you’re a small coastal vessel, or you’re a deep sea going VLCC. And, everybody has to innovate and really climb that curve.
What are we going to be able to most economically produce? Is it going to be methanol? Is it going to be ammonia? Is it going to be hydrogen and how quickly will we get there? Natural gas, like the ships that we’re building that are dual-fuel, really looks to have a very strong slice of the future energy pie for a prolonged period of time.
Seatrade Maritime News: What are the most complicated challenges for the shipping industry of moving to a zero carbon future?
Lois Zabrocky: Well, I think that we’re going to have COP 26 in November, the intensity and the pressure for the transition continues to ramp, even though that’s not direct on us as we have IMO. We need to as a world, we need to understand that we need to invest money and make it so that it’s economic, for us to have alternative fuels so that as a world it is a price that everybody can work together. And then once once you get a technology that’s really moving, that cost is going to come down, and it’s going to be competitive.
Seatrade Maritime News: Would you say it’s a good time to be a shipowner?
Lois Zabrocky: Well, I guess, chaos equals opportunity. Opportunity for innovation, opportunity to have step change. And I think that’s where we are today. So, it’s kind of exciting.