Danish research project leads to significant fuel savings for J. Lauritzen and Torm

Danish research project leads to significant fuel savings for J. Lauritzen and Torm
Danish shipping company Torm has achieved significant fuel savings by participating in the Blue INNOship project. Image courtesy of Torm

Shipping companies J. Lauritzen and Torm have saved a combined total of 37,900 tonnes of fuel per year thanks to their participation in a four-year research project that developed a new platform to help companies optimise technical and operational aspects of their fleets.

Under the Blue INNOship program, the Vessel Performance Decision Support platform was created to help address the challenge many shipping companies face of having no fully developed concept for how to harvest potential fuel savings. Danish company Vessel Performance Solutions (VPS), J. Lauritzen, Torm, FORCE Technology, and Aalborg University, recognised this situation and agreed to partner up to support the development of such a platform.

One objective of the platform was to identify the amount of excess consumption for a working fleet with drill down options to identify root causes for the excess consumption. Another objective was to develop an open standard for exchange of performance data. According to the project report, many shipping companies have large amounts of data but wish to have the freedom to exchange such data to different service providers. The partners believe that if all commit to the same exchange format, such exercises will be easy.

The result of the project is a modular vessel performance management platform that includes a vessel performance analysis engine (VPAe) that converts operational data into decision support, a platform for running performance reports or jobs, web-based presentation layer for display of decision support, and many other characteristics. The modular design and the results data base enable a shipping company to automatically transfer the results to its own data warehouse and BI solutions.

The platform is able to support vessel performance optimisation through change by introducing KPIs and providing a new and alternative approach to fuel oil consumption. Decision support is provided on hull and propeller performance, main engine performance, fuel balance, and data quality, amongst many others. The results are presented on a web platform with relevant information, including graphs and tables.

VPS and Aalborg University have also built a validation engine that allows users to identify problems with the quality of data coming from the vessels.

According to the final report published this month, the project has delivered on all parameters. Participating companies in the performance management platform, now launched under the acronym “VESPER” (VESsel PERformance) are using the platform on a daily basis to improve the efficiency of their operated fleets. The open standard is on its way to being used by three different Danish shipping companies and the conning display of FORCE Technology is being used by clients.

J. Lauritzen has committed to a total fuel saving of 4 per cent on its operated bulk carrier fleet over the project duration. Torm has also committed to significant fuel savings, achieving a 6.9 per cent yearly accumulation from a 2015 baseline. The results have been obtained by close monitoring and follow-up with vessels and a very close control of the fleets hull and propeller performance. The report also states that Torm’s high-quality dry-dockings, strategic hull cleanings and propeller polish have been key in achieving these results.

In total, on a yearly basis, the combined fuel savings sum up to around 37,900 ton per year (117,000 ton of CO2/year) or a yearly saving of more than 90 million DKK at a fuel price of 400 US$/ton.

The Vessel Performance Decision Support platform is run under the Blue INNOship program and is sponsored by Innovations Fonden, Den Maritime Fond and Orients Fond. Its partners include Rederiet J. Lauritzen, Rederiet Torm, FORCE Technology, Aalborg University, and Vessel Performance Solutions.

The final report for the project can be viewed here.