17 May 2024

Full steam ahead: why greater diversity is part of the solution for decarbonizing the maritime industry

Full steam ahead: why greater diversity is part of the solution for decarbonizing the maritime industry

As part of the International Maritime Organization’s #WomenInMaritimeDay on 18 May, we spoke to Business Development Manager Maritime Fuels, Barbara, about why the Maritime industry is such as exciting sector right now, and how diversity can help accelerate the industry’s transition to net zero.

What is your background and how did you get into the maritime industry?

I’ve always worked in the maritime and energy sector, and in various parts of the industry, including storage, infrastructure, trading operations and bunkering. My previous roles were more focused on conventional fuels, but I am very happy to be part of enabling the decarbonization of the maritime industry in my role here at OCI Global.

When I started after university I didn’t specifically look for a job in the maritime industry, but it crossed my path, and I knew it was – and still is – a great fit!

What attracted you to OCI Global in particular?

What attracted me the most was the fact that OCI is a producer and distributor of its own product And luckily enough, OCI is a producer of both methanol and ammonia, so in a good spot for the decarbonization of shipping, because both are set to be part of the future fuels mix.

What does your role at OCI involve?

I focus on securing offtake agreements – that’s agreeing contracts for supply – for our green methanol, and enabling methanol bunkering to happen across various ports in the world.

What have been your highlights of working in the industry so far?

So many! I am very proud that OCI is taking such a leading role in the energy transition. Some of my biggest highlights are being part of the world’s first methanol bunkering operations at various locations across the world. This included being present at the bunkering in Rotterdam of the world’s first green methanol powered ship on its maiden voyage. One highlight still to be come will be getting the first methanol propelled methanol bunker barge in the ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) region.

Why should more women consider a role in the maritime industry?

 I think it is great having more women in the maritime industry. The industry is at a crucial point in time and needs balanced, yet urgent action. I am convinced that having more women – with all types of background – will help to drive this transition forward.

Why is increasing diversity in the industry important?

Diversity goes beyond gender. I invite people from all backgrounds to take a leap into maritime, and I’m sure it won’t disappoint! The industry is at a crucial stage in its decarbonization journey, and so we need all efforts and creativity to make it happen.

What are you excited about for the future in the industry?

I am very curious to see how the industry will navigate through the different waypoints the regulators have set on the horizon to drive decarbonization. It will be a bumpy ride at times, but these changes are ensuring the future of the industry. And, after all, a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor!

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