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Unlocking the carbon value chain

Concept study to offload onboard captured CO2


Project overview


Start Apr 2023 • End Mar 2024

GCMD team members

Eng Kiong KOH


Victor PANG



Lloyd’s Register


Study partners:


Alfa Laval


bp Shipping

Boston Consulting Group

BW Epic Kosan


Eastern Pacific Shipping


Endress + Hauser



Jurong Port

"K" Line


Pavilion Energy


Navigator Gas

Olympic Shipping

SeaTech Solutions




Singapore Shipping Association


Woodside Energy


Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Port of Rotterdam Authority

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While achieving emissions reductions through onboard carbon capture and storage (OCCS) hinges on successfully integrating a shipboard-compatible system within space constraints, it is equally important to address the fate of the captured COby exploring how it will be offloaded from vessels, and its utilisation or sequestration pathways.

The case for the study

A critical question surrounding the fate of captured CO2 concerns its safe offloading.

Given that captured CO2 is likely to be transported and stored onboard vessels in its liquefied form, it is critical to examine the infrastructure and procedures that are necessary to ensure its safe offload.

To advance the end-to-end implementation of OCCS, GCMD has undertaken a study to articulate the concept design for the offloading of shipboard captured CO2 during port calls. 

The concept study will also support the establishment of regulatory and operational guidelines that can guide future pilots related to the captured carbon value chain for OCCS.

Scope of the study

This 9-month study aims to explore conditions for storing and handling captured CO2 onboard ships, as well as its offloading onto reception facilities, which could include shore terminals, floating storage, or reception ships. 

The scope of the study includes:

  • Develop concepts to safely and accurately offload onboard captured CO2

  • Assess the readiness of current port infrastructure of LCO2 offloading

  • Generate CAPEX and OPEX models for LCO2 offloading infrastructure, buildout and operation costs

  • Review and identify gaps in custody transfer, competency standards and regulatory approval

  • Review policy and regulatory regimes and identify ports that allow offloading of onboard captured CO2

  • Validate and finalise findings with stakeholders across the value chain


The study's findings were shared on 19 Mar 2024, with the following key findings:


  • While a limited number of ports possess the infrastructure to offload liquefied CO (LCO), they are primarily designed to handle food-grade CO. The higher purity standards that accompany this use limits the interoperability of facilities to handle onboard captured CO.


  • The industry for captured CO is in its infancy. Planned LCO end use and sequestration-related infrastructure projects remain in the concept phase, and have not reached Final Investment Decision (FID).  And since onboard captured CO volumes are small in comparison and will thus likely need to leverage shoreside infrastructure projects downstream, this timeline hinders ports from investing in infrastructure to enable offloading of onboard captured CO.


  • Our study identified storage, transport, and offloading of captured CO to be most efficient and cost-effective in its dense, liquid form. Of the possible concepts for offloading liquefied CO, ship-to-ship (STS) and ship-to-shore transfer modalities using an intermediate liquid CO receiving vessel are most scalable, especially if the captured CO is targeted for sequestration or used as a feedstock for synthetic fuels production.


  • The policy and regulatory landscape for offloading captured LCO₂ from ships is immature due to gaps in CO2 accounting, transfer of captured CO2 from international waters to a country, and the lack of well-developed market-based measures to incentivise the deployment and adoption of OCCS technologies.

  • Safety studies, including Hazard Identification (HAZID) and coarse Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), put the operational risks of offloading captured and liquefied CO below the health risk criteria for crew and operators.


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