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DNV pioneers decarbonization class notation for floating offshore assets

Erik Carlberg of DNV highlights the importance of decarbonization for floating offshore units and how DNV are working with MOU operators to achieve their sustainability goals.

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Erik Carlberg, Business Director Floating Energy Production, Maritime (DNV), shared with Manifold Times an article on DNV’s Abate class notation for floating offshore assets. 

The article highlights the importance of decarbonization for floating offshore units and how DNV are working with MOU operators to achieve their sustainability goals and at the same time, gain access to greater funding and a competitive market edge:

Back in 2021, DNV was the first classification society to offer a class notation specifically addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement opportunities for floating offshore assets. Today, the voluntary, modular Abate class notation establishes a new standard for reducing GHG emissions from offshore installations.

When the IMO announced its new, more ambitious decarbonization targets for the shipping industry in July 2023, the decision was praised by politicians and the general public around the world. But the regulations in place to achieve these targets, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), apply to the merchant fleet only. 

One key parameter in the carbon intensity calculations described by IMO is transport work. Since floating offshore units do not transport any cargo, they are not subject to these regulations.

Floating offshore assets emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases during operation. The type and function of the actual installation, drilling vs production, will of course determine the relevant GHG emission sources.

For a production unit, according to the UK Oil and Gas Authority’s 2021 “Emissions Monitoring Report”, 88 per cent of total emissions are CO2, followed by CH4 (methane) at ten per cent, and N2O (nitrous oxide) at two per cent. The majority of the methane, a powerful climate gas, originates from venting and flaring, whereas most of the CO2 and N2O emissions are from fuel combustion in gas turbines as well as flaring.

Meanwhile more and more major oil and gas companies are setting ambitious environmental and decarbonization goals for their operations to show their commitment to making a difference and are willing to embrace the ESG standards and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

By adopting effective carbon reduction measures, MOU operators can improve not only their public image but also their access to sources of investment capital as financial institutions are increasingly looking to minimize their exposure to the fossil fuel industry and move into the renewables sector. What is more, carbon trading schemes penalize carbon emissions and act as a financial incentive for operators to minimize their carbon footprint to avoid loss of profitability.

A class notation attesting to successful carbon abatement

Decarbonizing offshore oil and gas installations is technically complex and very costly. To help MOU operators and ultimately provide them with a means to credibly demonstrate their commitment to reducing their operational GHG emissions, DNV’s new class notation Abate, introduced in July 2021, defines a framework for identifying, assessing and implementing effective GHG reduction measures. The Abate notation comprises a management aspect (Abate Ready notation) and a number of additional technical qualifiers which can be adopted individually. It can be awarded to a newbuilding project or an existing asset. The required emission management system is very similar to the ISO quality assurance, environmental and energy standards, and will therefore be quite familiar to any organization.

The basic scope of Abate requirements includes the assessment of the emissions management system and also involves an assessment of potential abatement measures based on a thorough analysis of the asset and its emission sources. Both are necessary to obtain the Abate(Ready) notation and are prerequisites for obtaining any of the other Abate qualifiers. A dedicated person or team must be put in charge of the emission management system, and an emission abatement policy must be established that specifies realistic emission abatement goals and how they will be achieved.

The more detailed technical scope is reflected in the additional technical qualifiers directed towards specific emission sources. These qualifiers add prescriptive requirements for specific features of a floating offshore asset related to its function, such as power generation (P), carbon capture (CC), flaring (F) and others. 

Adopters of the class notation are expected to apply state-of-the-art abatement technology. A variety of measures may be taken, again depending on the installation function, such as reducing onboard energy demand, improving energy efficiency, optimizing system configurations, upgrading equipment and control systems, improving waste heat recovery, reducing flaring, capturing associated gas for productive use, minimizing process and tank venting as well as leakage, optimizing monitoring, inspection and maintenance regimes, and/or installing carbon capture and storage equipment. 

Whether or not some or all such measures are implemented will be subject to assessment of parameters such as technical feasibility, contribution to emission reduction, and the cost/benefit profile.

Compliance with the agreed scope of requirements, including implementation of the emission management system, proper function of abatement installations, potential further abatement measures, and assessment of the best available abatement technology, is verified by DNV through regular surveys.

Early adopters are demonstrating their commitment

The first FPSO owner to adopt the DNV Abate class notation was Altera Infrastructure with their FPSO Petrojarl Knarr in 2021. This pioneering project helped DNV, working closely with the customer, to further develop and fine-tune the rules of Abate based on real-life observations.

Additionally, the first jackup unit to receive DNV’s Abate-Ready notation was the self-propelled Vahana Aryan, the flagship vessel of the Dubai-based Vahana Marine Solutions DMCC, in spring of 2023.

The Abate Notation provides a structured approach to identifying potential abatement measures which can then be incorporated into a newbuild design.

Our customers, as with society in general, are aware of the current environmental challenges, and so typically will have internal processes, at various stages of development, to produce their own philosophy on how they wish to address the issue.

In many cases, for existing units, the Abate notation can provide a means, by an independent assessment, to give credit to measures which companies have already put in place based on their own emission reduction philosophy, and also then identify potential additional measures which may be feasible to implement.

Since the Abate Notation is a modular approach the initial stage of assessment of the management system and assessment of Best Available Technology may represent the start of the journey in documenting both current status and future intentions. Credit is given for conducting this assessment by award of the Abate (Ready) notation.

By reducing the environmental impact of floating offshore installations, DNV’s award-winning Abate-Ready class notation thus implies a promise to the industry, the public and the financial sector that the necessary measures are underway.

A number of other MOU owners are about to follow or have indicated strong interest in the Abate class notation. There is particular interest among owners and Operators of FPSOs in the Asia region to be at the forefront of these developments and to demonstrate how seriously they are taking the climate challenges that we are all facing. DNV are currently working with many of these owners in ongoing projects to implement the Abate framework, and thereby supporting them to reach their ambitions in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

Focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Through its customer-driven development of class rules and notations, DNV responds to what the market really needs as it endeavours to mitigate climate change. In addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, “Abatement” adequately describes what this class notation is about: Ensuring affordable and clean energy (Goal no. 7); building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation (Goal no. 9); and taking decisive climate action (Goal no. 13).

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 19 September 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Championing environmental stewardship: DNV partners Anglo American for vessel electrification feasibility study

Study revealed the potential transformation of Anglo American supported- Waterways Watch Society’s petrol-powered boats into battery electric vessels, aligning with their mission to safeguard waterways in Singapore.

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Classification society DNV recently sat down with global mining company and shipowner Anglo American to discuss their joint high-level vessel electrification feasibility study in the first episode of DNV’s Decarbonization Insights series.

In this session, DNV executed a feasibility study of battery electric boat operations for Waterways Watch Society (WWS), a non-profit organization supported by Anglo American.

The study revealed the potential transformation of WWS’ petrol-powered boats into cutting-edge battery electric vessels, aligning with their mission to safeguard waterways in Singapore.

Currently, there are six workboats powered by petrol at Waterways Watch Society, used/deployed for educational purposes, including collecting litter around Singapore’s waters.

The scope of work included technical assessment and commercial study on the electrification solutions.

Anesan Naidoo, Head of Sustainability at Anglo American, discussed how the innovative collaboration emphasizes their dedication to corporate responsibility, while DNV experts shared their perspectives on how vessel electrification is reshaping the landscape of maritime decarbonization in Singapore and the wider region.

Watch a trailer of the first episode of DNV’s Decarbonization Insights featuring Anglo American on DNV’s official YouTube Channel here.

 

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 15 April 2024

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Events

18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme

MPA will be making several announcements related to developments on low- emission maritime energy transition technologies, maritime artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and manpower, over the five-day event.

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18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme

The Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), returned in its 18th edition with more than 50 events from 15 to 19 April 2024 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Themed ‘Actions meet Ambition’, MPA said SMW is organised around four pillars - decarbonisation, digitalisation, services, and talent development. More than 10,000 maritime professionals from close to 40 countries, including delegates from governments, port authorities, international organisations, as well as industry experts and thought leaders are expected to attend SMW. 

In addition, the inaugural Expo@SMW trade exhibition, taking place from 16 to 18 April 2024 as part of SMW 2024, will showcase maritime solutions by close to 50 companies and startups.

SMW 2024 was launched by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Mr Chee highlighted that Maritime Singapore has continued to grow year-on-year – a mark of the industry’s vote of confidence in Singapore, and the strong tripartite relationship between business, workers, and the government. 

Looking forward, Mr Chee said that Singapore aims to be a global hub for innovation, reliable and resilient maritime operations, and maritime talent, to better serve the current and future needs of our stakeholders and allow Singapore to contribute to global development and sustainability goals effectively.

A maritime dialogue was held on the topic of Supply Chain Resilience, Digitalisation and Decarbonisation. The panel, comprising Dr Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, Germany, Mr Even Tronstad Sagebakken, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Norway, and Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General, International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) was moderated by Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs. 

The panel discussed the challenges the maritime sector faces when dealing with these changes and disruptions, the efforts and measures undertaken by them to prepare the maritime industry and its workforce, and the potential for various stakeholders to work together to address these challenges and capture new opportunities.

Other participants of SMW 2024 include Mr Arsenio Dominguez, Secretary- General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and Mr Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Speaking at his first maritime event in Singapore since his appointment as the Secretary-General of the IMO in January 2024, Mr Dominguez delivered a keynote speech at the Singapore Maritime Lecture that was moderated by Ambassador Mary Seet-Cheng, Singapore’s Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji and Non-Resident Ambassador to the Pacific Islands Forum.

Secretary-General Dominguez emphasised the importance of ensuring seafarer safety and wellbeing, particularly in the light of geopolitical changes impacting shipping, and highlighted his vision for IMO to flourish as a transparent, inclusive, diverse institution. 

He also noted the rapid green and digital transition unfolding in the maritime sector, driven by the targets set by IMO Member States in the IMO 2023 GHG Strategy. 

Mr. Dominguez said: “IMO is on track to adopt mid-term measures by late 2025 to cut GHG emissions, to reach net zero targets. Alongside this regulatory work, there is a need to consider issues such as safety, pricing, infrastructural availability to deliver new fuels, lifecycle emissions, supply chain constraints, barriers to adoption and more.”

“Seafarers will require training to be able to operate new technologies as well as zero or near-zero emission powered vessels safely.”

“We need ‘early movers’ in the industry as well as forward-looking policy makers to take the necessary risks and secure the right investments that will stimulate long-term solutions for the sector. In this regard, we welcome the efforts being undertaken by Singapore to facilitate collaboration among maritime stakeholders, including the MPA-led Maritime Energy Training Facility.”

SMW 2024 will also bring together MPA’s Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC) partners, namely Australia, six ports in Japan, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, Port of Rotterdam, and Tianjin, to discuss GDSC initiatives to support IMO’s Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emission reduction targets for international shipping.

These include the development and uptake of zero or near-zero GHG emission fuels at scale along corridor routes, technologies to accelerate decarbonisation, collaboration to enhance operational and digital efficiencies, as well as updates on key milestones achieved for the Singapore and Port of Rotterdam and the Singapore and Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach GDSCs.

MPA will ink several partnerships and agreements with more than 30 partners during SMW 2024 in areas such as training and cybersecurity. These partners comprise international organisations, foreign governments and agencies, classification societies, maritime partners, institutes of higher learning, tech companies, trade associations, and unions. 

MPA will also be making several announcements related to developments on low- emission maritime energy transition technologies, maritime artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and manpower, over the five-day event.

MPA and 22 partners , including the leading global marine engine manufacturers, today also signed a Letter of Intent to establish the Maritime Energy Training Facility (METF). The METF, supported by the tripartite maritime community in Singapore, aims to close the skills and competencies gap for the safe operation of new zero or near-zero emission-powered vessels.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 15 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels

Facility will be anchored by new dual-fuel marine engine simulator for training on safe handling, bunkering and management of incidents involving the use of alternative marine fuels such as methanol.

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MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday (15 April) said it will establish an industry-supported facility to address the current competencies gap by training the global maritime workforce in handling and operating vessels using clean marine fuels. 

MPA said there is a need for more maritime personnel and seafarers to be trained and equipped to operate these ships safely and efficiently as the number of ships operating on zero or near-zero emission fuels grows. 

With hundreds of crew changes conducted daily here, Singapore’s Maritime Energy Training Facility (METF) is well placed to support the training of international seafarers. Ship owners and operators can expect time and training cost savings by tapping on METF’s training facilities. 

Around 10,000 seafarers and other maritime personnel are expected to be trained at METF from now to the 2030s, as the facilities are progressively developed by 2026.

The Letter of Intent to establish METF was signed by MPA and 22 partners comprising global marine engine manufacturers, international organisations, classification societies, trade associations, unions, and institutes of higher learning, at the SMW 2024 opening ceremony. 

The setting up of METF follows from recommendations put forth by the Tripartite Advisory Panel, formed in early 2023 by SMF and supported by MPA, to identify emerging and future skills and competencies to build for the maritime workforce.

METF will be established as a decentralised network of training facilities in Singapore. It will be anchored by a new dual-fuel marine engine simulator for training on the safe handling, bunkering and management of incidents involving the use of alternative fuels, such as methanol and ammonia. 

Other training facilities supporting METF include the integrated engine room and bridge simulator by the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at Singapore Polytechnic (SP), as well as the bridge and engine simulator at Wavelink Maritime Institute (WMI)2 for crew resource management training. 

For emergency response training, METF is supported by gas and fire safety training facilities at Poly Marina operated by the SMA, as well as AR-enabled scenario- based training developed by SP’s Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety.

METF will also tap various partners’ assets and training technologies to upskill the global maritime workforce, including seafarers, on the operations, bunkering and management of zero or near-zero emission-powered vessels. New training courses and curriculum will be developed by METF’s partners, and progressively rolled out from this year.

MPA also aims to support and contribute to the work of the Maritime Just Transition Task Force (MJTTF) as one of the institutions rolling out the Baseline Training Framework for Seafarers in Decarbonization – which is under development – through METF. 

This will directly contribute to the joint International Maritime Organization (IMO)–MJTTF work to develop training provisions for seafarers in support of decarbonisation of shipping, and complements the IMO's ongoing comprehensive review of the International Convention and Code on Standards of

Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Singapore is currently chairing the IMO Working Group on the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and Code, established in 2023 under the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping.

As part of the METF curriculum, SMA has launched one of the Asia Pacific’s first training courses focused on handling methanol as fuel for ships. The training course, accredited by MPA, covers operational and safety protocols during methanol fuelling developed by MPA following the first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation conducted in Singapore in July 2023. 

The course also includes a methanol firefighting practical component covering both shipboard and terminal fires. SMA currently offers two sessions of the Basic and Advanced courses every month, with plans to scale up based on the industry’s demands. The course will be open to all maritime personnel and seafarers starting in April 2024.

With strong demand signalled by the industry for such common training facilities, METF is expected to catalyse investments by the industry to develop other training facilities and solutions in Singapore to tap into this growth area. MAN Energy Solutions, one of the leading global engine makers of alternative-fuel engines, recently opened a new mixed-purpose facility. 

The facility includes a new MAN PrimeServ5 training academy for customers and employees on the safe operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of all MAN Energy Solutions equipment. METF is also expected to benefit corporate training academies set up by shipping companies, such as those from Eastern Pacific Shipping, to train their global seafaring crew and shore-based personnel.

The MPA – SMF Joint Office for Talent and Skills (Joint Office) was established in March 2024 to coordinate and drive the tripartite efforts by the government, industry, and unions to upskill the Maritime Singapore workforce across shore-based and seafaring jobs and to ensure Singapore continues to have access to a diversity of maritime talents and experts.

To provide workers with greater flexibility in the acquisition of new skills, the Joint Office will work with IHLs and industry to review and progressively convert relevant short-term courses, or on-the-job training into accredited competency-based micro-credentials. These will focus on emerging skills such as maritime cybersecurity, digitalisation, and sustainability. 

The micro-credentials could potentially be stacked towards formal or industry-recognised qualifications and to fill the gap in quality and flexible upskilling or reskilling opportunities for working adults while they remain in full employment. The Joint Office plans to expand the micro-credential pathway, allowing recognition of more courses and workplace learning as micro-credentials over time.

Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 15 April 2024

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