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CLARITECS BunkerMAESTRO system in top three of PIER71 Smart Port Challenge

The BunkerMAESTRO is an AI enhanced SaaS bunker tanker scheduling platform designed to optimally schedule bunker delivery jobs within a bunker operator’s fleet.

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BunkerMAESTRO, an AI enhanced software as a service (SaaS) bunker tanker scheduling platform developed by Singapore-based maritime solutions firm Claritecs, was among the top three winners at the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge on Wednesday.

The SaaS system is built to provide bunker operators, oil terminals, ship agents and ship managers of receiving vessels with bunkering information oversight under one common platform. 

It applies machine learning and AI algorithms to optimally schedule bunker delivery jobs within a bunker operator’s fleet. 

The development means BunkerMAESTRO, currently at the prototype stage, is well prepared to enter its next stage of development with stakeholders, says Wong Hong Lee, the CEO of Claritecs. 

“Garnering the third place out of 122 entries globally for the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge provides solid validation to the BunkerMAESTRO concept, which we firmly believe will add value to Singapore’s USD $25 billion bunker industry,” he says.

“Our system will integrate data from vessel AIS and available port and pilotage systems to provide seamless tracking of vessels coming to Singapore for bunkering, pilotage assistance and cargo operations.

“We expect BunkerMAESTRO to offer a 30% to 50% increase in work productivity; 15% to 30% increase in bunker tanker utilisation rate; and a 50% reduction in time spent for communication – allowing users to concentrate on addressing key issues and bringing in more revenue with the same amount of resources.

“We will like to thank the PIER71 team comprising representatives from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, for organising this programme to build a vibrant maritime entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Singapore.”

Armed with letters of intent signed with nine Singapore-based bunker tanker operators and shipowners, Claritecs will be involving about one-third of the Singapore bunker tanker fleet as candidates to testbed BunkerMAESTRO in the first half of 2019, readying it for commercial entry.

As a finalist of the PIER71 Smart Port Challenge 2018 and having undergone its eight-week Accelerator Programme, Claritecs looks forward to applying for the SGD $50,000 Post-Programme Prototype Development Grant provided by the MPA to develop and test bed prototypes.

“We look forward to sharing our technologies with stakeholders in the bunker supply chain to add value to their operations,” says Wong.

Photo credit: Claritecs
Published: 29 November 2018

 

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Digitalisation in OSV sector: Path to fuel efficiency and decarbonisation

Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog elaborates how digital solutions are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector.

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Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog, elaborates how digital solutions are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector.

Arnaud Dianoux, Founder and Managing Director of Opsealog, explained how data collection and analysis are enabling significant fuel savings in the offshore support vessel industry sector and includes a case study from Opsealog’s work with ADNOC, where digitalisation reduced fuel costs and emissions by 12%:

A variety of factors are encouraging investments in energy and fleet efficiency within the offshore support vessel (OSV) sector, with a strong focus on fuel efficiency. The sector is at a pivotal point. Following years of slow growth, 2023 saw a significant rebound in the market, which continues into 2024. Major oil producing countries, particularly in the Middle East and North America, are pushing for increased production, which is driving up demand for drilling rigs, subsea construction boats, and OSVs. This surge in demand has led to higher utilisation rates, increased term-charter and spot market day rates, and a tighter market. 

Increased day rates and a shortage of vessels are making it imperative for charterers to improve fuel efficiency and manage costs effectively. One significant contribution to this is by optimising fleet management processes – for example, streamlining maintenance schedules – to ensure fleet availability in fluctuating demand cycles. Through the use of digital systems, charterers can better monitor operations, identify optimal fleet sizes, and reduce overall expenses.

For shipowners, the tight market and attractive rates incentivize maximising vessel availability. This is compounded by the increased cost of crew and equipment maintenance and upgrades.  Further to this, higher interest rates and uncertain regulations make newbuild orders less appealing. Instead, the focus is on maximising the current fleet’s technical availability.

The OSV industry’s appetite for investment in new assets, technologies, or digital systems is closely linked to market conditions, which has seen a ‘wait and see’ mentality across not just the OSV sector but also the global maritime market. But as fuel prices rise and the market tightens, incentives are growing stronger to optimise operations, reduce costs, and invest in technologies that will enable access to data that will aid decision-making in the future. Digitalisation is emerging as a key strategy to achieve these goals, offering a low-hanging fruit solution to improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Bringing data into play

Data plays a crucial role in unlocking operational efficiencies, optimising marine logistics chains, reducing fuel consumption, and minimising greenhouse gas emissions. Comprehensive data collection and analysis allows companies to benchmark progress, measure the impact of future initiatives, and prepare for incoming regulations. 

From a regulatory perspective, while OSV operators are not yet required to comply with the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), future regulations will likely mandate compliance. From 2027, offshore ships above 5,000 gross tonnage will be included in the ETS, while the EU MRV will be extended from 2025 to apply to offshore ships above 400 GT, with additional regulations expected to follow.

Pushed by the public’s demand for more sustainable practices, stakeholders, including energy majors, are increasingly requesting reductions in upstream emissions. 

By leveraging data-driven insights, companies can be proactive in their decarbonisation efforts. Enhancing data collection, integration and analysis enables them not only to comply with regulations, but also to unlock new insights to enhance operational, financial, and environmental performance. For example, 10-15% fuel and emissions savings are typically delivered through Opsealog’s data collection, management, and analysis processes. This is a win-win, saving fuel costs as well as emissions with no risk or upfront investment.

The fuel efficiency landscape

The OSV industry exemplifies the challenges and potential of digital solutions in enhancing fuel efficiency. A prime example is Opsealog’s experience with ADNOC Logistics & Services (L&S), the logistics arm of ADNOC Group.

Opsealog’s initial proof-of-concept trial with 11 of ADNOC L&S’ vessels achieved a remarkable 12% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The results of a trial in 2021 saw ADNOC L&S embark on a long-term partnership with Opsealog, recognizing an opportunity to replace manual reporting processes with digital ones to improve speed, accuracy and support timely decision-making. 

The digitalisation of ADNOC L&S’ vessel reporting processes marked a significant shift for the company, and has led to the deployment of Opsealog’s ”efficiency as a service” solution  across a larger fleet of over 120 offshore supply vessels.

ADNOC L&S achieved these efficiencies through meticulous analysis and adjustments in operational practices, such as optimising engine running hours and implementing mooring buoys to reduce fuel consumption during idle times. This illustrates how digital solutions can transform traditional fuel and fleet management approaches, drawing on Opsealog’s role as a data integrator from multiple sources to enhance operational efficiency and environmental sustainability in the OSV sector.

The future of OSV operations 

The OSV sector is on the cusp of a digital transformation that promises to drive fuel efficiency, reduce costs, and support decarbonisation efforts. By embracing digital solutions and leveraging data, the industry can navigate the challenges ahead and seize the opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving market. 

As digitalisation progresses, its benefits will extend beyond fuel consumption and emissions reductions. Going forward, we can expect data-driven insights to also be used to support contract performance monitoring, enhance crew management, and improve billing accuracy. 

For these benefits to be realised, however, collaboration between various industry players will be required. Effective data sharing within the OSV sector and beyond will be essential for enhancing the industry's safety, efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability. However, this task is challenging due to varying levels of data maturity, privacy and security concerns, and technical obstacles. Despite these challenges, the advantages of data sharing are substantial, with the potential to foster innovation, improve decision-making, and optimise overall operations.

Furthermore, digital systems will also play a vital role in ensuring that health and safety standards are met. This includes data on drills conducted on board and stop work policy, which helps enforce safety standards and enables teams to be proactive to ensure safety. This shows the multifaceted potential of data in supporting not only operational, financial and environmental goals, but also in empowering the industry’s most important asset: its people. 

 

Photo credit: Opsealog
Published: 25 June, 2024

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Decarbonisation

Decarbonizing Asian shipping: The potential of Onboard Carbon Capture

DNV dives deep into the potential of Onboard Carbon Capture Storage particularly in Asia to coincide with the recent release of its latest whitepaper.

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With the recent release of its latest whitepaper, classification society DNV sheds light on the potential of Onboard Carbon Capture Storage particularly in Asia, highlights the growing interest in it among shipowners and what needs to happen to encourage its wider adoption:

By Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria
VP, Regional Manager - South East Asia, Pacific & India, Maritime at DNV

The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that to achieve the 1.5°C global warming limit set by the Paris Agreement, we need to capture 7.6 billion tons of CO2 annually by 2050. (Ref 1)

In its July 2023 update, the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI) mentioned that current Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects cover about 50 megatons of CO2 annually. This implies that from 2023 to 2050, CCS capacity must increase at least 100 times to capture the projected 7.6 billion tons of CO2. (Ref 2)

DNV sees strong potential for Onboard Carbon Capture Storage - or OCCS- an area it is actively engaged in with industry players to put to the test.

Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria

Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, DNV

OCCS outlook in Asia

In its latest white paper about OCCS, DNV sets out to provide guidance to shipowners, technology providers, and other stakeholders on central matters related to OCCS. (Ref 3)

It makes it clear from the start that OCCS is key among all other efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping, in addition to improving energy efficiency and switching to carbon-neutral fuels.

Capturing the CO2 produced by carbon-based fuels and utilizing it, or storing it underground, is important for the maritime industry if it is to get anywhere near the IEA targets or meeting IMO goals for emissions reductions:  to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 20%, striving for 30%, by 2030, compared to 2008. (Ref 4)

One industry voice which updates us on CCS activities in Asia (as well as Europe) is Jasper Heikens, CCO at ECOLOG, a mid-stream CO2 service company.

He points out that one of the drivers to undertake CCS is that industries in Asia will need to adhere to the EU’s forthcoming Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) if they wish to sell their products into the EU.

Mr Heikens thinks Asia will emerge as the biggest CO2 shipping market, because Japan and Korea have very limited storage capacity and will need to transport their CO2 over greater distances than the EU to, for example, Malaysia, Indonesia, or Australia. (Ref 5)

In March this year, the Singapore based Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) released its landmark study on offloading onboard captured carbon dioxide and identified low port readiness as key barrier to large-scale commercialisation:

  • Infrastructure and procedures for handling captured carbon dioxide (CO2) at ports are currently inadequate,
  • Defining clear pathways to offload, utilise, and/ or sequester CO2, is crucial for large-scale commercialisation of onboard carbon capture and storage.

Commenting in the report, Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of GCMD had this to say: “While pilots have successfully demonstrated numerous capture technologies onboard ships, it is still uncertain how captured carbon on merchant ships can be safely offloaded, and what the rest of the value chain looks like.” (Ref 6)

Growing interest among shipowners

With the regulatory landscape rapidly evolving, it will become increasingly important for shipowners to look ahead and embark on a decarbonization strategy that allows for regulatory compliance and optimized operations.

It is no wonder that in recent years, we have seen a growing number of shipowners across Asia entering into partnerships to explore the potential of OCCS.

DNV entered into a Joint Development Project (JDP) with AL Group and its Singapore company Asiatic Lloyd Maritime LLP in November 2023 to explore the feasibility of CCS on board AL’s 7,100TEU containership and Kamsarmax bulk carrier newbuildings. (Ref 7)

Under the JDP, DNV will cooperate with AL on a techno economic study of CCS on board the vessels using DNVs FuelPath to assess the economic potential of the different fuel and technology strategies.

Backed by DNV’s experienced global network and team of experts in the Centre of Excellence for Maritime Decarbonization & Smart Shipping in Singapore, we are in a prime position to help the industry navigate the maritime energy transition in a safe and efficient manner.” (Ref 8)

Earlier this year, we entered into another JDP, this time with the Singapore-based shipping company SDTR Marine to cooperate on an Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) feasibility study for the latter’s 85,000 dwt Kamsarmax bulk carrier.

DNV, through its work with other stakeholders and through these JDPs, will make sure it addresses the extremely important economic viability of OCCS and take care of all operational and safety issues at the same time.

DNV

Steps towards wider adoption

For shipowners to adopt onboard carbon capture, appropriate emission regulations must be established to credit captured CO2.

Currently, the EU Emissions Trading System is the only regulatory framework incentivizing carbon capture on ships, which is in alignment with EU strategy on land-based CCS.

In addition, the IMO has initiated a working group to look further into how onboard carbon capture can potentially be implemented in new GHG emission regulations.

We also know every well – and the whitepaper emphasizes this - that globally maritime cannot go on its own with OCCS. We must be connected to the global CCUS value chain.

As of today, this infrastructure is not established. The shipping industry needs to reach out to relevant CCUS development projects near major shipping hubs to discuss how the maritime industry can connect to the wider CCUS value chain.

OCCS will be driven to succeed only if it has the necessary global and regional regulatory approvals, in addition to industry assessments, testing and pilot projects.

Note: Access DNV’s guidelines for Onboard Carbon Capture Systems (OCCS) onboard ships here.

References:

  1. https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-roadmap-a-global-pathway-to-keep-the-15-0c-goal-in-reach
  2. https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Global-Status-Report-2023_Slide-Deck-APAC-Website.pdf
  3. https://www.dnv.com/maritime/publications/the-potential-of-onboard-carbon-capture-in-shipping-download/
  4. https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/Pages/2023-IMO-Strategy-on-Reduction-of-GHG-Emissions-from-Ships.aspx
  5. https://www.dnv.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/positive-outlook-for-carbon-shipping-amid-big-push-to-fix-technical-challenges/
  6. https://www.gcformd.org/landmark-study-on-offloading-onboard-captured-carbon-dioxide/
  7. https://www.dnv.com/news/dnv-and-al-group-to-cooperate-on-ccs-feasibility-study-250184/
  8. https://www.dnv.com/news/dnv-inks-jdp-to-explore-occs-for-sdtr-marine-s-kamsarmax-252180/

 

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 24 June, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Study, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.

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LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a marine fuel could deliver a significant carbon reduction, particularly alongside other emissions reduction and energy saving technologies, helping shipowners comply with more stringent regulations into the next decade, according to Lloyd’s Register recently.

The Fuel for Thought: LPG, a joint report from Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the World Liquid Gas Association (WLGA) has found that the market for dual-fuel LPG engines will continue to grow based on a healthy orderbook, with LPG offering a cleaner, lower carbon emission marine energy source than many alternatives currently available.

According to the report, the use of LPG as a marine fuel combined with technology such as Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) can reduce a vessel’s emissions profile, with the added benefit of reducing the required CO2 storage capacity, due to the lower CO2 emissions from LPG combustion. This allows the technology to work more effectively and offers shipowners a pathway towards future regulatory compliance.  

The report, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.  

Although well established, the range of available engine technologies will need to be expanded to enable widespread adoption of LPG on multiple vessel types. 

Currently there is no four-stroke marine engine capable of using LPG, meaning auxiliary engines on vessels would need to be decarbonised through an additional fuel.

A safe bunkering framework must be also developed to encourage uptake of LPG. Regulations remain in their early stages, with interim guidelines recently published by IMO.

Panos Mitrou, Global Gas Segment Director, Lloyd’s Register, said: “The pace and scale of renewable production for LPG remains a critical factor in initiating the wider adoption of LPG as a marine fuel.”

“Supportive energy-saving technologies, as along with potentially maturing onboard carbon capture and storage, will further assist in making LPG a viable low-zero carbon fuel.”

“By ensuring this, LPG could offer attractive operating and capital costs compared to other alternative fuels as shipowners look to decarbonise their fleets in line with more stringent regulations."

Nikos Xydas, World Liquid Gas Association Technical Director, said: “LPG stands as a unique and exceptional energy source, pivotal for decarbonising the shipping sector.”

“Stored and transported as a liquid and consumed as a gas, it is well recognised for its lower emission benefits as a marine fuel. With a surge in orders for LPG-fuelled ships, it's clear that LPG's role in the shipping industry is expanding.”

“As the world moves towards deep decarbonisation targets, LPG emerges as an ideal fuel for all vessel types, offering a cleaner alternative fuel today and a pathway for an even cleaner future tomorrow.”

“Its flexibility, low emissions, and cost-effectiveness position LPG as the potential fuel of choice in the shipping sector, paving also the way for low-cost deep-sea decarbonisation with the advent of bio/renewable LPG.”

Note: The ‘Fuel for Thought: LPG’ report can be found here.

 

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 24 June, 2024

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