Could the Maritime Engineering Sector Decarbonise?


The maritime industry contributes 3% of global carbon emissions, having a detrimental impact on the environment and marine life. With growing pressure on the marine industry to adopt more sustainable solutions, it is vital to adapt to changes if the maritime engineering sector is to decarbonise. The maritime engineering sector must factor into account underwater marine services when manufacturing vessels and looking towards decarbonisation.

The maritime industry ranges from ships to mega yachts and is a global business. Operators are continually seeking more sustainable solutions to reduce carbon emissions. The industry is experiencing increased scrutiny over its environmental practices. Due to a growing awareness about climate change, the maritime engineering sector is focusing on decarbonisation to help protect the environment.

What is the Maritime Engineering Sector?

Maritime engineering involves the manufacturing of boats, ships, submarines, and other marine vessels. The marine engineering sector involves ships and infrastructure used for naval, commercial, and leisure industries. It includes underwater marine services involving the repair and maintenance of commercial, naval, and offshore vessels. These services reduce the need to dry dock, saving time and money for marine businesses.

Using the latest CAD software and 3D modelling, underwater marine services offer repairs, hull modification, propeller polishing, and noise reduction cladding. Maintenance and tasks are carried out by crew, staff, and on-site engineers. Many maintenance requirements are below the waterline, so it is vital that repairs are carried out by experts in their field using specialist equipment.

Underwater marine services within the maritime engineering sector include:

Hull Cleaning – regular cleaning of the hull is essential to avoid heavy barnacle growth. Without maintenance, calcification can occur, causing corrosion to the vessel. Regular maintenance of the hull improves the hull sonar system, reduces noise pollution, and improves fuel efficiency.

Structural Engineering – Major structural repairs below the waterline are essential for the proper maintenance of vessels and infrastructure. This maintains the longevity of vessels and involves specialist divers and engineers to carry out the work.

Surveys and Routine Inspections – Divers carry out industry standard surveys, which minimises the day-to-day impact of running a vessel. This saves operators time and money by reducing the need to dry dock.

Propeller Polishing – Regular maintenance of propellers reduces surface roughness and improves fuel efficiency. With professional engineers, an on-site service is provided which reduces costly downtime. It is important for vessels to have regular propeller maintenance to ensure operational continuity and productivity.

Sustainability for Underwater Marine Services

There is a need for fuel efficiency, minimising fossil fuel consumption, and correct structural maintenance, if underwater marine services are to be sustainable. Regular maintenance of underwater vessels and infrastructure reduces the risk of corrosive particles polluting marine environments and entering the aquatic food chain. The maritime engineering sector is changing direction and adopting decarbonisation practices to alleviate environmental harm.

What is Decarbonisation?

Decarbonisation means switching from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to carbon-free alternatives. Reducing carbon gas emissions is essential if the maritime engineering sector is to decarbonise. Carbon free alternatives involve implementing new technologies and adopting scientific research. The next step for the maritime engineering sector is to create energy sources that produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping is working with global partners in the energy and shipping sectors to explore realistic decarbonisation options. Its aim is to decarbonise the maritime industry by 2050, implementing sustainable technologies and practices across the sector.

The centre aims to promote alternative solutions and guide the industry towards decarbonisation. It is recognised as a trusted advisor for maritime engineering decarbonisation goals, removing uncertainties and using scientific data and research to create zero carbon shipping solutions.

The centre is a safe space for maritime engineering players to team up in their shared mission of decarbonisation. It creates and informs transition pathways, providing calculated guidance using applied research. The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping aims to influence global, regional, and national decarbonisation policies in efforts to accelerate maritime engineering decarbonisation. The industry wide shift requires industry leadership and perfected global policies.

Underwater Marine Services and Decarbonisation Solutions

Underwater marine services in maritime engineering play a crucial role in sustainability efforts. The industry is taking steps to reduce its negative impact on the environment and world’s ecosystems. Adopting correct and greener practices for underwater marine services is required to preserve marine environments.

The maritime engineering sector is measuring carbon emissions in its practices and taking the necessary steps to adopt sustainability. Alongside The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center, partners are working together to monitor their environmental impact.

Regular maintenance of vessels and offshore infrastructure help to improve ship performance and reduce the risk of corrosion. This limits corrosive particles entering marine ecosystems, which helps protect marine life. Trained divers and engineers conduct underwater marine services and inspections, such as propeller polishing and hull cleaning, to ensure the longevity of ships and improve environmental conditions.

Vessels have always used fossil fuels to function, so adopting sustainable ship management practices is a step towards decarbonisation. Maritime engineering companies are now implementing a digital dashboard on ships, where owners and operators can access their data. This means they can plan ahead for better fuel management practices.


For the maritime engineering sector to decarbonise, it is vital to adopt sustainable underwater marine services and practices. Maritime companies are partnering with The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center to create new solutions for decarbonisation. By making courageous decisions, the centre is leading the way in collaborative climate action across the maritime engineering sector. If the industry is to protect the future of the environment and ocean ecosystems, safe and sustainable solutions for decarbonisation are required.

From policy makers to engineers, important decisions are taking place towards zero carbon shipping. If underwater marine services in maritime engineering are to decarbonise, implementing sustainable ship management practices across the sector is vital.

Underwater marine services are essential to the safe functioning of vessels and infrastructure. Surveys, inspections, hull and propeller polishing, and structural engineering can all support more sustainable practices and improve fuel efficiency. As a result, this can save operators time and money by reducing the impact of the day-to-day running of vessels. Noise pollution is also reduced with proper maintenance and sustainable practices, reducing interference with marine life communication.

As the world wakes up to the climate crisis, the maritime engineering sector is implementing sustainable solutions in underwater marine services and working towards decarbonisation.

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