Neste newbuilds to optimise fuel consumption with tech from Swedish start-up

Neste newbuilds to optimise fuel consumption with tech from Swedish start-up
The FuelOpt control panel

Two newbuilding tankers under construction for Finnish refiner Neste will feature automated propulsion optimisation technology FuelOpt by Swedish technology company, Lean Marine. 

The newbuilding aframax crude oil tankers will use FuelOpt to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The system optimises a vessel’s propulsion line in real-time based on the commands set for engine power, fuel consumption, speed, or a combination thereof. A button located on the bridge automatically optimises propulsion once pressed, enabling the automated control of vessel speed and fuel consumption and allowing for the avoidance of potential fuel overconsumption in harsh sea conditions, such as high swells and winds.

The system’s adaptive algorithms take varying conditions, e.g. weather conditions, hull resistance and currents, engine load, and shaft power into account. In this way, FuelOpt ensures maximum power optimisation, enabling up to 15 per cent direct fuel savings and emission reductions.

Reaching the highest achievable efficiency on vessels with a controllable pitch propeller is also possible since FuelOpt acts as a dynamic tuning system for propulsion machinery to ensure that the engine and propeller operate at optimal conditions. The system achieves this by controlling the propeller’s pitch and RPM separately to produce the most amount of propeller thrust with the least amount of power. Additionally, the system adds an extra layer of operational safety by avoiding risk of overload on the engine system and propulsion line.

Mikael Laurin, CEO at Lean Marine, explained: “Since over 90 per cent of the world’s trade is transported by sea, any change towards greener shipping operations will deliver substantial benefits, both for fuel expenditure reduction and for the planet.  Neste is highly committed to reducing GHG emissions, both in shipping and other industries. This makes the collaboration with Neste even more valuable to us.”

Risto-Juhani Kariranta, shipping performance manager at Neste Corporation, said: “At Neste, our purpose is to create a healthier planet for our children. To achieve this, our ambition on decreasing climate emissions, innovation and collaboration plays an important role. From the ship performance perspective, Neste has been evaluating clean technologies for optimised vessel performance. We believe that Lean Marine’s FuelOpt system will empower our newbuilding tankers with fuel savings and emissions reductions from day one.”