Keel-laying ceremony for low-carbon GIZ Pacific Island vessel held in Korea

The consortium of Asia Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and the naval design company Kostec Co. Ltd., has signed a contract with GIZ in July 2022 to deliver an innovative sailing cargo ship for the needs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

Since 2017, GIZ has been implementing the IKI (International Climate Initiative)-financed program that is commissioned by the Federal German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Production (BMUVB) jointly with the Marshall Islands Ministry for Transportation, Communication, and Information Technologies (MoTCIT).

The project aims to support RMI´s ambitious target to cut down carbon dioxide emission in the domestic sea transport sector according to its National Determined Contribution (NDC) target of achieving transport-wide reduction of total domestic transport GHG emissions 27% below 2010 levels by 2030 and transitioning to a low carbon transport future and is committed to reducing GHG emissions from domestic shipping 40% below 2010 levels by 2030 and full decarbonization of the sector by 2050.

Earlier this year, the RMI Cabinet has endorsed the Domestic Maritime Transport Roadmap, that lays out the path for net-zero sea transportation in the Marshall Islands until 2050.

“The keeling would be the start of the paradigm shift from conventional driven, solely engine propelled ships to a new generation of vessels for our islands in the larger Pacific Region,” said Minister Kitlang Kabua in her keynote speech, “We need to move away from fossil fuels, the vessel in this festive ceremony symbolizes the larger change we are fighting for, a transition from technologies that are outdated and not adequate anymore in times where we face daily challenges with rising sea levels, the acidification of our oceans leading to coral bleaching, taking away our resources that we all need to survive.”

According to GIZ Project Director Raffael Held (in photo) “The combination of various technologies for such size and type vessel is unique. It was developed jointly with the Research Institute University of Applied Sciences Emden-Leer. In a joint effort, a new prototype-like vessel has been elaborated, including a modern and efficient sailing rig, PV units for the generation of electricity onboard and training areas for generations of future Marshallese seafarers.

After the keel-laying ceremony, the shipyard and all relevant project partners will continue with the production of the vessel until the next milestone, the launching in early October 2023. The project is part of the IKI-funded project on Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport and supports in delivering RMI’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).