Mester Commercial News Feed

Turning tides: how the shipping sector is going green

The EU will spend the coming years discussing whether European shipping will be included in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) and thus contribute to the block’s push to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. Meanwhile, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is floating the idea of a global carbon levy to expedite decarbonisation in the global shipping industry. In addition, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is carving out a target to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% between 2008 and 2030.

Given the expectation of a global carbon levy, what options are already available in the maritime sector to reduce emissions?

- Machinery
Several machinery energy saving systems have been available for a long time in the shipping sector. These tend to enhance the performance of the main engine, auxiliary engines, or boiler, depending on vessel type and operational profile.

- Hull structures and propulsion systems
A retrofit of the bulbous bow is a measure to optimise the hull to a new operational profile, typically for a lower design speed. A retrofit of bulb may decrease fuel consumption on a main engine by up to 5%.

- Operational efficiency
In addition, vessel crew can reduce CO2 emissions significantly by undertaking specific operational measures. Running the machinery at optimal engine load, slow steaming and well-established maintenance routines can have a significant impact. When sailing, accurate weather forecasting, carefully planned routes, as well as trim and draft optimisation, have additional and considerable energy saving effects.

- Point versus range optimisation
Observing the speed versus fuel consumption is one of the key measures to assess the efficiency of a vessel. In this regard, there has been a shift in the design philosophy of ships.