ETI launches project to identify benefits of fuel saving ship technologies

ETI launches project to identify benefits of fuel saving ship technologies
An example of energy-saving Norsepower Rotor Sails on-board a Maersk P-Class vessel. Image courtesy of Norsepower.

The Energy Technologies Institute (EIT) has launched a project to help shipping companies and financiers identify the real-world costs and fuel consumption benefits of using new and existing technologies.

£1.8 million has been allocated to the Vessel Technology Assessment System (VTAS) project, which will assess the costs and benefits of installing and retrofitting technologies to current and newbuild vessels.

Led by BMT Group in partnership with Black & Veatch, the project will help financiers understand and quantify technologies that have real long-term fuel efficiency and cost benefits.  The VTAS project will develop a practical approach to predict the benefits of a range of carbon abatement and fuel efficiency technologies on marine vessels over real-world usage cycles.

While there are a range of Energy Saving Devices (ESDs) on the market today, including flettner rotors, high efficiency propellers, and wingsail technologies, there is some hesitation in uptake due perceived technical and financial risks of implementing these technologies, according to John Buckingham at BMT. He says, “Through improved ship-based modelling, assessments and data validation, this project will allow us to explore the options and provide independent evidence that stakeholders can trust to make an informed decision.”

The project aims to tackle market barriers that limit the uptake of cost-effective fuel saving technologies. David Butler, project manager for HDV marine efficiency at the ETI says that this project will be combined with ETI’s current £10 million portfolio of demonstrations in the areas of energy saving technologies and new waste heat recovery technology, to help the company reach its target of a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency for marine vessels.

Butler explains: “Maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the International Maritime Organisation states that emissions could rise by 50 – 250% by 2050 compared to 2011 levels. Therefore, the efficient use of fuel through the implementation of ESDs will be critical to the future affordability, security and sustainability of maritime transport.”

The assessment is expected to be completed by mid-2019.