Ship Consortium Sails Full Steam Ahead Toward 15-25% Fuel Reduction

by | Apr 22, 2010

A consortium of shipping industry entities is pursuing an end-goal of reducing operational fuel consumption by 15-25 percent.

The consortium, led by Ricardo, aims to pre-emptively achieve emissions reductions that are being sought by international jurisdictions, including the European Union and the United Nations.

Indeed, vessels entering North American waters would have to comply with emissions standards once a UN proposal takes full effect. Members of the UN’s International Maritime Organization’s marine environment protection committee in March adopted a plan that creates a 230-mile buffer around U.S. and Canadian shorelines, reports Reuters.

The idea is to control emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and particulate matter from ships.

The Ricardo-led Ship Efficiency & Energy Storage Assessment consortium (SeEsA) will investigate energy management of propulsion and auxiliary power systems and identify potential solutions appropriate for the requirements of applications including cruise liners, ro-ro ferries, tankers, bulk carriers, container ships and offshore facility supply and navy vessels.

“The international maritime industry is facing the twin challenge of meeting the needs of emissions regulation in a range of jurisdictions as well as a sharp increase in the cost of energy for both propulsion and on-board systems,” said Ricardo plc group commercial director Steve Clarke.

Energy storage solutions will include:

– conventional and state-of-the art battery technologies and ultra capacitors

– flywheel based systems

– thermal and pressure based storage

– fuel reformers

– liquid nitrogen (LN2) systems

Separately, shipping firms are making efforts to reduce their own fuel use.

For instance, National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) aims to cut energy use 28 percent, to be achieved by improvements in operational efficiency, fleet management, traffic control, cargo handling and energy efficiency.

A recent report shows that overcapacity in the global shipping market means that ships have the opportunity to slow down over the next three years, helping achieve potential emissions cut of 30 percent.

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