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Marine Environmental Impact and Energy Use

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cheekychalmers
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Marine environmental impact and energy use

Bridging the environmental gap in shipping

Faced with current and anticipated legislation, increasing customer environmental awareness among cargo owners and passengers plus fuel cost rises, there has never been a better time for the senior management of shipping companies to rationalise their company’s energy use. Stuart Melling, manager for marine and crane service at ABB Ltd., examines some of the options.

From emissions reduction, improved fuel use through to the environmental impact of new builds, the shipping industry faces a challenging future.

Emissions reduction
In 2007 the global shipping industry is estimated to have emitted 1,046 million tonnes of CO2, which is some 3.3 percent of total global emissions. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) predicts a 250 percent rise in emission levels as a result of expanding sea transport, if suitable energy efficiency policies are not implemented.

Yet legislation has in many respects by-passed the shipping sector as reflected by its exclusion from international agreements such as the Kyoto protocol. Even though shipping is recognised as the cleanest form of transporting goods, with the least damage per tonne of cargo, ship exhaust emissions are regarded as the industry's biggest polluter.

So although the marine industry has consistently resisted taking any significant measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, it now looks like it will finally bow to pressure, as many governments now want to include shipping in future agreements. As such IMO is implementing, by 2015, new sulphur emission targets for marine fuel oil. IMO has also demonstrated a potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 to 75 percent for newbuilds, as well as for ships already operational, simply through an increased focus on energy efficiency.

Improved fuel use
An important environmental driver for the shipping sector is fuel. Bunker fuel accounts for some 50 percent of the total transport costs of a tanker company. With its direct connection to crude oil prices, it can only get more expensive. Fuel costs are further compounded for those vessels that generate emissions while docked in port by running their auxiliary engines to create onboard electric power. In ports with heavy ship traffic, this practice creates emissions and negative health and environmental impact to the local surrounding communities.

A shore-to-ship electric power supply can help eliminate pollution problems such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and particle discharge as well as noise and vibration from ships in port. With shore-to-ship power, ships can shut down their engines while berthed and plug into an onshore power source. The ship´s power load is seamlessly transferred to the shoreside power supply without disruption to onboard services, eliminating emissions to the local environment.

ABB offers a complete, seamlessly integrated shore-to-ship power solution for safe and reliable power transfer from the public electric power grid to the ship while in port. This complies with international standards laid out by the relevant professional bodies.

Environmental impact of new builds
To further reduce emissions, IMO agreed to adopt mandatory energy efficiency design standards for new ships. The regulations will require the use of an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships, stipulating a specific level of energy efficiency to be attained, and a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.

The amendments to the MARPOL regulations, which are expected to come into force in January 2013, will apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. Ships built between 2015 and 2019 will have to be 10 percent more efficient, rising to 20 percent between 2020 and 2024 and 30 percent thereafter. But new ships already contracted or under construction in developing nations when the new regulations come into force may be exempt from the scheme.

So there are plenty reasons why environmental issues and energy efficiency are now high on the agenda.

But why wait for the legislation?
Working now with energy efficiency can prepare the path for this inevitable environmental legislation. Some cargo owners are already considering the environmental performance of their transport providers based on voluntarily submitted environmental data. As part of the EEDI and SEEMP, IMO is also considering the idea of vessels displaying their energy performance through theses design and operation indices.

Away from these initiatives, shipping companies can take some straightforward action ranging from speed control of pumps and fans through to recycling heat.

Energy-saving variable-speed drives
A major cruise liner company worked with ABB to install ABB’s market leading variable-speed drives (VSDs) on large onboard fans and blowers throughout its fleet. VSD control ensures that the fans always run at the optimum speed which significantly reduces emissions and fuel costs through reduction in energy use. The first two ships saved 1,820 tons of bunker fuel and reduced emissions by 5,732 tons during the 12 months following the upgrade.

The biggest commercial benefit of energy saving is that it directly results in profit. Take a shipping company where 50 percent of costs are fuel and profits are 10 percent of turnover, then a 10 percent decrease in fuel consumption would increase profit by 45 percent.

The reality for the marine industry is that cost-efficient technology to save energy exists; it is just not being implemented rapidly enough. The result is that the industry faces an energy-efficiency gap. Researchers have found the reasons for the slow uptake of new technology are organisational failure, lack of time and shortage of competence. There is often no long term energy strategy with energy issues being given low priority.

Yet the payback for many of today’s energy-saving technologies – most notably drives and motors – can be within months. It is a case of identifying many applications that offer a small saving from energy-efficiency measures, yet collectively they add up to a significant total saving.

Marine energy appraisal service
To help the shipping industry find the applications that can most benefit from energy-saving technologies, ABB has devised a marine energy appraisal service that aims to identify the motor-driven applications that can benefit from the use of variable-speed drives, with payback often under two years.

Marine energy appraisal – What’s involved 1. ABB surveys the vessel to identify motor-driven applications that can benefit from energy saving technology. 2. Input data and documentation are collected during an on-board survey including: a. Ship’s heat balance calculation b. Air balance calculation c. Layout of the systems d. Machinery datasheet e. Schedule of ship’s route f. Current system management g. Survey on board h. Vessel operational profile 3. The energy appraisal is undertaken to find comparison between power consumption and demand. 4. A final report verifies the results including a return on investment. Typical findings may include: i. Vessel has been designed for worst climate condition j. Motors of fans and pumps run only at fixed speed k. The current cooling or pumping system is wasting up to 70 percent of energy

5. A cost proposal for implementing improvements is presented showing investment costs, payback and environmental improvements 6. If accepted an installation site survey is carried out 7. The results are verified to confirm the actual saving.

Among the large energy consumers on board vessels, are seawater cooling pumps, chilled water pumps and engine room ventilation fans. These applications are often over-dimensioned to handle the most extreme conditions. In addition they typically operate at full capacity even when demand is not high. Any flow control is often through mechanical devices such as bypass valves and dampers which are inefficient in that they effectively waste energy.

Utilising variable-speed drives to adjust the speed of the motors according to demand, can very often reduce the energy consumed by about 50 percent with payback on equipment and installation, from fuel savings alone, in less than one year.

Lowering energy consumption helps to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions because of reduced load on the vessels diesel generators. A single average size seawater cooling pump can save $29,000 and 117 tons of CO2 per year. When applied ship-wide and fleet-wide these savings can be tremendous.

There is a large potential for retrofitting existing ships with new fuel-reducing technologies. For example, only around 2 percent of the global fleet is currently equipped with variable-speed drives for their seawater cooling pumps, which means that 98 percent of the fleet is missing an opportunity for high fuel savings, environmental and commercial rewards.

The energy saving measures are not confined to one part of the shipping industry. They are relevant to most market sectors, single ships or entire fleets, planned newbuilds as well as operating old vessels.

Energy Management System
From the very start, senior management needs to be engaged in environmental and energy efficiency issues. They should appoint an energy champion with agreed key targets, responsibilities and authority and provide the resources necessary to deal efficiently with the company’s energy issues. This is essential to avoid the “when everyone is responsible, often no one is responsible” scenario. The champion then needs to develop an in-depth understanding of the company’s present and expected energy consumption. Only then can accurate measurements, comparisons and follow-ups be implemented. As the old adage goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Companies should consider an Energy Management System (EMS) which recognises that proper procedures for measuring and following-up results are as important as being able to plan and implement. The aim of an EMS is to maximise profits, while minimising costs and increase the company’s competitiveness. For example, it addresses all aspects such as bringing together employees that affect energy performance. Often such employees are physically and organisationally far apart from those making decisions on investments - one may be stationed on a vessel while the other is located in an office somewhere else in the world. A ‘top down’ communication of energy management commitment as part of the desired organisational culture can help galvanise support.

Another aspect of an EMS is to map and analyse energy usage. This provides data to assess measures and decide on goals for energy efficiency that are challenging but still achievable. Yet it all depends on having a structure in place.

For those companies – and there are many – who are still working on their energy strategy, ABB has come up with a very attractive answer. ABB’s projects and consulting service provides retrofit options that enhance productivity, safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact. ABB has the skills and resource for consulting, implementing and overseeing the complete modernisation project.

Energy monitoring and management tool
Supporting the ABB projects and consulting services are a series of management services, one of which is an energy monitoring and management (EMMA) tool which can have a big impact on fuel cost reduction. EMMA has been developed specifically for marine companies to operate a ship, several ships or a whole fleet with best possible energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. It puts energy on the agenda throughout the company and makes it possible to optimise energy-related processes, practices and decisions, all the way from the engine room to the board room.

For the ship owner, EMMA represents a key element of an energy management program for improving profitability and reducing the company's overall environmental footprint. Whether a single ship or an entire fleet, the monitoring software gives almost complete visibility to energy production and consumption performance. ABB's trained consultants support the staff onboard and onshore to interpret the information, identify improvement areas, set targets, and coach the staff in running the vessel more efficiently. The management onshore receives consulting and benchmarking services in running the fleet more efficiently in order to optimize the return-on-investment. Owners can expect a payback for the service package, consisting of a license and management fee, within 12 months.

EMMA is not a technically complex system, but highly developed software running on ordinary PCs onboard and ashore. The system’s users include crew members with specific responsibilities for energy consumption onboard and personnel with responsibility for the fleet’s overall energy costs, emissions and competitiveness.

In many shipping companies energy use is not transparent. Even when relevant information is logged, the data is often not understood, interpreted or used correctly. Lack of meaningful performance data can make it difficult to assess the implemented measures, which in turn could hinder continued investments in energy efficiency or the acknowledgement of any successes.

The current challenges facing the shipping industry are immense, from environmental regulation, rising fuel prices and international bodies imposing tougher environmental requirements. But at least with services such as ABB’s shore-to-ship power supply, marine energy appraisal scheme and EMMA, the voyage to energy efficiency just a became a lot easier to navigate.


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