Interview: Gary Noonan highlights the importance of innovation when striving to achieve net zero

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Since January 2021, Garry Noonan – Director of Innovation – has led Ardmore’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP) Technologies business stream, while taking a leading role in developing and executing Ardmore’s overall strategies in the critical areas of the energy transition: fleet performance enhancement, and business development. Following the publication of Ardmore’s latest Progress Report, Garry explores the company’s ambitions as a key driver of shipping’s sustainability journey.

When Ardmore Shipping launched the ETP, the company set the target of playing a pivotal role in the industry’s strive to achieve net-zero emissions. In order to achieve this, Ardmore has taken a two-pronged approach to this role in this business stream:

1. Enabling technologies that promote the role out and short-term implementation of future fuels
2. Identifying and implementing fuel efficiency technologies.

The key objective set for the energy transition plan was identifying and enabling the deployment of future fuels. Ardmore Shipping recognizes that the landscape of fuels is changing, and it needs to be forward-thinking in its actions in order to exceed industry targets. In addition to this, it is essential that the company also reviews and analyses countless projects and technology trials, building a comprehensive picture of the critical attributes of each energy efficiency technology.

As a company, we understand that shipping cannot move to a zero-carbon future tomorrow. However, although zero-carbon fuels aren’t yet available globally or at scale, we are actively seeking to tackle this problem through the establishment of e1 Marine. Along with our joint venture partners, Element One Corp and Maritime Partners, we believe that the technology is available to make methanol an imminent solution. While fuel efficiency and vessel performance have always been second nature to us, the opportunity to be part of the e1 Marine joint venture – from due diligence right through to launch – was a key milestone in my career. It represents the dedication Ardmore Shipping has to innovation, research and investment to make strides forward for the industry.

In an era of high-cost, low-carbon fuel products, fuel efficiency will be an even more significant competitive advantage and differentiator than it is today. The market pressure in a highly competitive sector will be a powerful force in ensuring we all continue to seek new ways to improve fuel efficiency.

The next generation of efficiency technologies, including power management systems and just-in-time arrivals, all require greater collaboration and information-sharing with industry partners, ranging from engine manufacturers and navigation solution providers through to port authorities and customers.

In the spirit of collaboration we’ve published our second Progress Report, which highlights our organization-wide commitment to transform the idea of the energy transition from theory to reality. The report showcases what we, as a company, are doing today regarding the full range of environmental, social and governance sustainability. It reflects the progress Ardmore Shipping is making by offering measurable and comparable results to analyze when considering how Ardmore, and the industry, can meet and exceed the necessary regulatory targets.

We believe there is a lot which shipping companies can do even with existing technologies, rules, and regulations to make progress today and tomorrow. Innovation, trials, and testing will help to create a better future for shipping. 

Read the full Ardmore Shipping Progress report here: