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ICCT paper: Newer marine engines have ‘significantly higher’ emission rates than older engines

Study found newer Tier II engines had notably higher NOx emission rates than older Tier I engines; no statistical difference found in NOx emission rates between unregulated Tier 0 engines and Tier II engines.





The International Council on Clean Transportation on Wednesday (11 October) released a new working paper that analysed 615 samples of real-world NOx emissions from 545 ships operating in Danish waters between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in 2019. 

Measurements for the Real-world NOX emissions from ships and implications for future regulations working paper were obtained using sniffers attached to helicopters flown into exhaust plumes. The data includes measurements from ships covering all engine age categories (tiers).

The results were eye-opening: Newer Tier II engines had significantly higher NOx emission rates than older Tier I engines. Moreover, there was no statistical difference in NOx emission rates between unregulated Tier 0 engines and Tier II engines.

Screenshot 2023 10 13 at 12.59.50 PM

The greatest mean NOx emission rates were found at main engine loads below 25%, with emissions averaging 12 g/kWh across all vessel types and engine tiers. Emission rates decrease as main engine loads increase, with mean emission rates of 8.1 g/kWh at loads greater than 75%. Existing NOx test cycles assume that marine engines most often operate at higher engine loads; however, this study finds that engines typically operate at lower engine loads.

NOx regulations could be revised to make them more effective at reducing air pollution. Rather than relying on weighted emissions limits, the International Maritime Organization could consider implementing not-to-exceed (NTE) standards for new and existing ships, particularly focusing on operations at low loads, and including a test point below 25% load.

Note: The full Real-world NOX emissions from ships and implications for future regulations can be downloaded here.

Photo credit: International Council on Clean Transportation
Published: 13 October, 2023

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Interview: Auramarine eyes significant market share of methanol fuel supply systems

Tuomas Häkkinen, Director Business Line Projects, discusses methanol marine fuel engines, decarbonisation-related market opportunities and how Auramarine’s solutions stand out from the competition.





Tuomas Häkkinen, Director Business Line Projects, Auramarine

Tuomas Häkkinen, who was recently appointed as Director Business Line Projects of Finland-based fuel supply systems provider Auramarine Ltd, discussed with bunkering publication Manifold Times methanol marine fuel engines, decarbonisation-related market opportunities for the firm and how Auramarine solutions stand out from the competition:

MT: What is the forecasted uptake potential for methanol marine fuel engines by the global merchant fleet in light of IMO 2030/2050? 

This is difficult to estimate as the marine industry is changing rapidly. While there are a number of new low and zero-carbon fuels in the mix, the future and main make-up of the bunkering supply chain within shipping will likely comprise of a combination of ammonia, biofuels and methanol.

It is difficult to forecast the precise number but leading classification society Lloyd’s Register, in its recent paper ‘The future of maritime fuels’ (September 2023), predicted bio and e-methanol would have a combined market share of total shipping fuel by 2050 of 13.4%.  However, the most optimistic scenario projects a market share for bio-methanol of 43% by 2050.

There is, therefore, a lot of potential for the uptake of methanol, both in newbuilds and retrofits. It’s currently one of the more mature and advanced alternative fuels and is easy to adopt. With this foundation, we aim to reach significant market share of methanol fuel supply systems both in newbuilds and retrofits.

MT: What is the number one misunderstanding about methanol marine fuel engines that you would like to debunk?  

Based on our experience, very often the integration of ship and engine systems can cause challenges and uncertainty where the responsibility of specific system parts is unclear or where there are many different players involved in the system integration. However, with proper planning and expert design, solutions can be deployed to overcome these challenges.

It’s also important to note that you get different challenges depending on whether it’s a system for a retrofit or newbuild vessel. For example, a retrofit carried out for an existing vessel always requires more attention than a newbuild, as there are more preconditions to consider. The key points a shipowner should consider when planning for a retrofit range from engine modification availability, space constraints such as tank availability, health and safety guidelines and fuel availability through to specific sustainability goals and compliance considerations.

From Auramarine’s perspective, safety is one of the most important issues due to methanol toxicity and high flammability where, for crew, inhaling, touching, or breathing in methanol is very dangerous. We, therefore, provide onboard and in-house training for crew, officers, and onshore staff, where all aspects are considered to ensure trouble-free operations as well as compliance with all environmental, health and safety regulations.  Ultimately, a well-trained crew ensures a safe voyage and efficient operations, and we always ensure that we provide project-specific training plans, as well as operation and maintenance manuals for each project.

We also firmly believe that when one experienced supplier is responsible for the design of the entire system, it is easier to control the many subsystems to ensure optimum results. Specific responsibilities and requirements are always clearer and better for efficiency. Doing this reduces project-related risks because an understanding of the interface and relationships among different components and stakeholders helps avoid misunderstandings and prevents any oversight.

MT: In terms of technology, how have maritime fuel supply systems evolved over the years and how will this sector grow in the future to accommodate shipping's green trend? 

To meet the requirements of retrofits, and the planning and production cycles of new builds, maritime fuel supply systems are becoming more modular and flexible to install in different spaces and setups. This ensures a clear line of responsibility, allowing an experienced provider to take accountability for the safety and performance of the fuel supply system to minimise risks.

MT: Other than methanol/ammonia fuel supply systems, what other decarbonisation-related market opportunities do you see for Auramarine? 

There are a lot of opportunities for more efficient use of fuels.  For example, we recently launched our AFE (Auramarine Fuel Economiser) solution, a real-time data monitoring and reporting tool, which enables shipowners and operators to proactively analyse and identify where fuel consumption and emissions can be reduced, delivering savings of between 5% and 20%.

The AFE monitors and measures the entire fuel consumption of vessels across a whole fleet, collecting data from all fuel and power-related systems on board, whether a vessel is in operation or not. This makes data collection easy for accurate reporting purposes in line with regulations such as the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator, and, critically, it also highlights opportunities to reduce fuel consumption such as optimising operations by analysing fuel profiles.

MT: How are Auramarine's solutions different and why should shipowners choose the firm's fuel supply systems over the competition? 

We believe in close collaboration with shipowners to ensure their systems are tailormade to their needs no matter what fuel they use, including methanol, biofuels and soon ammonia, and we always provide fast, flexible and accurate project execution leveraging more than 50 years of experience in fuel supply system deliveries.

We also provide customers with global lifecycle support and a ‘one-stop-shop’- an end-to-end solution for our methanol fuel supply system. When the methanol system’s lifecycle support comes from a single, experienced supplier, the customer can be assured that all interfaces within the system are considered, and all needs are covered. Any interface issues can be avoided, there are clear lines of responsibility and there are no gaps in the management and upkeep of the system throughout its lifetime.

With the current and future reporting and regulatory requirements, it is important that the fuel system is kept up-to-date and compliant with the changing requirements.  This is where preventative maintenance and the role of data comes in. By using remote conditioning and operational monitoring, operational issues and downtime can be avoided, ensuring safety, efficiency and unnecessary costs.

Related: Auramarine appoints Tuomas Häkkinen as Director Business Line Projects


Photo credit: Auramarine
Published: 11 July, 2024

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Japan rocked by another scandal involving marine engine data manipulation

Hitachi Zosen Corporation admitted that its two subsidiary ship engine markers falsified fuel consumption data of 1,364 ship engines that had been shipped since 1999.





Hitachi Zosen Corporation

Japan has been hit with another scandal involving falsifying data of marine engines after major Japanese engineering firm Hitachi Zosen Corporation admitted that its two subsidiary ship engine markers manipulated fuel consumption data of 1,364 marine engines that had been shipped since 1999. 

Hitachi Zosen’s announcement came a month after another Japanese marine and land engine maker IHI Corporation announced that its consolidated subsidiary IHI Power Systems Co., Ltd. was found to have made “improper alterations” in the test operation records for marine engines and land-use engines.

The subsidiaries, Hitachi Zosen Marine Engine Co., Ltd. and IMEX Co., Ltd, were found to have conducted “inappropriate rewriting” of fuel consumption rates recorded in shop trial results. 

“Specifically, the usage of a programme which displays a fuel consumption value different from the actual value was confirmed. Possible impact on the calculation of NOx emission was confirmed as well,” the firm said in a statement on Friday (5 July). 

“At this point in time, there have been no confirmed cases that may raise questions about the safety of the subject engines during test operation and actual use.”

The company said it found data had been tampered for 950 marine engines made by Hitachi Zosen Marine Engine and 414 engines made by IMEX respectively since 1999. 

Through the interviews to relevant personnel, the firm said it was confirmed that the data was “altered at the time of shop trial test to keep the fuel consumption rate within the permissible range required in the customerʼs specification and to reduce data variability.”

“As the NOx emission verification tests were also conducted at the same time, there is a possibility that this may also affect the calculation of NOx emissions,” it said. 

“We believe that this matter stems from a lack of awareness regarding compliance.”

Hitachi Zosen said it was verifying whether there have been violations of laws, regulations and  standards related to the subject engines.

“We will continue to carefully investigate and report the impact on NOx emission regulations established by the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster and the International Maritime Organization, as well as the impact on CO2 emission regulations,” it said.

In response to the revelation, the company said a special investigation committee composed of external experts will be established for the purpose of ascertaining the facts, investigating the cause and proposing measures to prevent recurrence.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, in a separate statement on 5 July, said no related certificates would be issued to the companies until compliance with regulations on NOx emissions is confirmed.

It also said Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will begin investigating 19 marine engine manufacturers to determine whether they were engaged in inappropriate conduct in their NOx emission confirmation tests and will request a report from them by the end of September. 

Related: Japan: IHI Corporation reveals ‘improper alterations’ of data for over 4,000 marine engines


Photo credit: Hitachi Zosen Corporation
Published: 9 July, 2024

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China: Headway to provide methanol fuel supply systems to Fujian Guohang and Fratelli Cosulich

Firm was chosen to supply its systems for Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping’s four dual-fuel bulk carriers and Fratelli Cosulich’s dual-fuel tanker that will operate in Singapore.





China: Headway to provide methanol fuel supply systems to Fujian Guihang and Fratelli Cosulich

Qingdao-based maritime technology firm Headway Technology Group (Headway) on Thursday (4 July) said it has been chosen to provide its methanol fuel supply systems (LFSS) for Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping and Fratelli Cosulich vessels.

The firm will provide the systems for four 89,000 DWT methanol dual-fuel bulk carriers, with an option for an additional six vessels, owned by Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., Ltd.

“Headway will provide a one-stop solution for the project, covering core modules such as bunkering and transfer systems, methanol fuel treatment units, nitrogen systems, and control and security systems,” the firm told Manifold Times.

China: Headway to provide methanol fuel supply systems to Fujian Guihang and Fratelli Cosulich

The four methanol dual-fuel bulk carriers of Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping will adopt MAN B&W 6S60ME-C10.5-LGIM-EGRBP engines.

Those vessels will be built by Wuhu Shipyard and equipped with a complete set of Headway's OceanGuard® methanol fuel supply system. The first four vessels of this series are expected to be delivered in 2025 to 2026.

In addition, Headway signed a cooperation agreement with Genoa-based international shipping and logistics company Fratelli Cosulich to provide a methanol fuel supply system for its new 7,990 DWT methanol dual-fuel tanker that will operate in Singapore.

The tanker ordered by Fratelli Cosulich from Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding will also use Headway's OceanGuard® methanol fuel supply system.

The vessel, which is the world's first to use MAN 21/31DF-M generators as the main propulsion power, is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2025.

“OceanGuard® methanol fuel supply system is the first domestic mature solution for methanol fuel supply system which has already been applied successfully.”

“It has passed the online operation test of the prevailing low-speed engine brand, and the performance and safety of each module can meet the needs of large marine dual-fuel engines.”

China: Headway to provide methanol fuel supply systems to Fujian Guihang and Fratelli Cosulich

Related: Fratelli Cosulich orders its first methanol dual-fuelled bunker tanker to serve Singapore
Related: Headway methanol LFSS contributes to successful testing of China’s first methanol DF engine
Related: China: Headway and CEEC Group join forces in green hydrogen, methanol and ammonia integration project
Related: China: Headway gains CCS approval for intelligent energy efficiency management system
Related: Headway Technology Group hosts seminar on low carbon solutions in Singapore


Photo credit: Headway Technology Group
Published: 8 July, 2024

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