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IWSA invites maritime stakeholders to participate in small vessel wind propulsion survey

IWSA launched a new survey to understand why wind energy use is increasing in small vessel segments and to ascertain what barriers may be holding back further expansion in wind-powered vessels.

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IWSA invites maritime stakeholders to participate in small vessel wind propulsion survey

The International Windship Association (IWSA) on Friday (3 May) announced the launching of a new survey to gather insight from the industry to understand why wind energy use is increasing in small vessel segments and to ascertain what barriers may be holding back further expansion in the number of wind-powered vessels.

IWSA said the number of small vessels sailing using wind as their primary energy source or using wind-assist wind propulsion technology has been increasing steadily in recent years. Over the last few months there has been a further uptick in interest and vessel launchings.

“IWSA’s aim in surveying the industry and disseminating gathered insights from vessel operators’ and cargo owners’ shared experience is to assist harbours/ports in better understanding the sector,” it said in a statement.

“In addition, seafarers interested in engaging in the sector will also be better informed, as will the vessel operators that employ and train them.”

Respondent feedback from small vessel owners operating vessels that use wind energy plus insights from other relevant stakeholders will be published by IWSA in a Small Wind Propulsion Vessel publication.

Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of IWSA, said: “The results of this survey will help inform IWSA’s future work around wind propulsion deployment in the small commercial vessel sector both in developed and lesser developed regions of the world where maritime transport can be absolutely critical.”

“The aim of the resulting Small Wind Propulsion Vessel publication will be to help to facilitate discussions and debate around the issues facing the sector helping to bring together the network further and identify areas that require collective action at an industry, market and policy/regulatory level.”

Stakeholders in any small vessel segments of the industry are invited to participate in the survey. In the survey, a “small vessel” has a fairly broad definition, with vessels under 1000GT included, though this classification issue is one of the questions also under consideration.

The deadline for survey submissions is Friday, 10 May 2024. 

Note: The Small Wind Propulsion Vessel Survey can be found here.

 

Photo credit: International Windship Association
Published: 6 May, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Singapore: Smart Port Challenge 2024 aims to attract wider audience of global start-ups

Competition features 14 challenge statements covering areas such as maritime green technologies, including some related to the bunker fuel sector including on methanol and ammonia.

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Singapore: Smart Port Challenge 2024 aims to attract wider audience of global start-ups

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), on Thursday (30 May) launched the Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2024. 

The annual event to attract start-ups with innovative technology-driven solutions to help address the industry’s key challenges, was held during the InnovFest x Elevating Founders 2024, the official start-up event of Asia Tech x Singapore.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment launched SPC24 at the event attended by more than 200 international start-ups, venture capitalists, corporations, and participants. Please refer to Annex A for the SPC2024 launch programme.

Organised by PIER71™1 , SPC2024 will for the first time concurrently launch in Singapore and several overseas partner markets. PIER71™ will leverage the extensive network of BLOCK71 and MPA’s new regional offices and organise six international roadshows in key maritime hubs across Asia, Europe, and North America in June 2024, to attract a wider audience of global start-ups, innovators, and venture capitalists to participate in SPC. 

Apart from forging new networks and partnerships, the roadshows aim to create greater awareness of the vibrant technology and innovation ecosystem, and investment opportunities in Singapore. PIER71™ also hopes to encourage overseas start-ups to incubate and develop their cutting-edge technologies and solutions in Singapore.

Launch of Smart Port Challenge 2024

SPC2024 unveiled 14 challenge statements focusing on four key areas: maritime green technologies; smart shipping; next generation ports; and digitalisation, which includes artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud technologies. These challenge statements reflect the key issues facing the global maritime industry and the diverse opportunities that start-ups can participate in to shape its future. 

Some of the bunker-related challenge statements include improving crew safety in handling methanol as a marine fuel, managing ammonia risk and enhancing charging and battery performance.

Shortlisted start-ups will undergo a 12-week PIER71™ Accelerate programme and may be eligible for MPA Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) grant funding of up to SGD 100,000 for proof-of-concept or pilot projects, and up to SGD 250,000 for new product development. They will also receive support through PIER71™’s global network of partners. The top three winners for SPC2024 will be awarded with cash prizes at the finals in November 2024. Start-ups interested in participating in SPC2024 can find more information and submit proposals through PIER71™’s website at https://pier71.sg. The deadline for submission is 8 July 2024.

Five Start-ups Awarded MINT Grants

At the event, MPA awarded five outstanding maritime technology (MarineTech) start-ups which participated in SPC2023, with grants totalling SGD 250,000 from the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund. The number of start-ups under PIER71™ has grown from 17 in 2018 when PIER71™ was launched, to more than 100 today. MPA will continue to work with its partners to reach the goal of 150 MarineTech start-ups in Singapore by 2025.

The grants will support the five start-ups in developing prototypes and solutions, including a platform for optimisation, evaluation and verification of biofuel blends, a mobile platform for real-time vessel activity monitoring in port, a cybersecurity solution for networks on board a vessel, a digital tool for enhanced ship inspection and auditing, and a digital twin for container depot operations. 

Mr Kenneth Lim, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Industry & Transformation), said: “The PIER71™ Smart Port Challenge continued to be a relevant platform for innovation in the maritime sector.”

“By attracting diverse solutions from start-ups, SPC promotes innovation and helps accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies through collaboration with the industry.”

“I am excited about the international roadshows for SPC2024 and look forward seeing more novel solutions to address the industry’s challenges.”

Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said: “Our collaboration with MPA will further broaden the impact within the growing maritime innovation ecosystem in Singapore and beyond.”

“By leveraging NUS’ robust resources and talent, along with our extensive global BLOCK71 network, we are committed to nurturing an environment that supports start-ups and innovators from all over the world, whether they are establishing themselves in Singapore or expanding overseas.”

“With the support of MPA's regional directors worldwide, this partnership extends valuable resources and growth opportunities to maritime talents and start-ups, driving innovation and leaving a lasting impact on the maritime industry.”

Note: Annex B on the challenge statements and Annex C on the recipients of Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Grant can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 31 May 2024

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Wind-assisted

MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

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MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. on Monday (27 May) announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk. 

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

The fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for three of the six vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch firm EconoWind B.V., on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.

MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2" and has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the "introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

 

Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 May 2024

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Wind-assisted

Exclusive: Anemoi lays out financial and environmental benefits of Rotor Sails

UK-based Anemoi shared with Manifold Times financial benefits from reduced bunker fuel consumption when utilising wind-propulsion technology and its long-term environmental benefits.

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Exclusive: Anemoi lays out financial and environmental benefits of Rotor Sails

Anemoi Marine Technologies, a UK-based Rotor Sail developer, wrote an exclusive editorial contribution for Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times exploring the financial benefits from reduced bunker fuel consumption when utilising wind-propulsion technology while also highlighting the long-term environmental benefits of the technology for ship owners: 

As the global shipping industry ramps up decarbonisation efforts, modern cargo vessels are striving for energy efficiency, guided by the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) regulations.  The IMO’s 80th meeting of its Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 80), which took place in July 2023, spotlighted vessel efficiency, emphasizing a review of energy efficiency design requirements, including the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI).

In pursuit of the IMO's net-zero target of 2050, ship owners are embracing low and zero-carbon technologies. Among these, innovative propulsion options like Flettner Rotors, or Rotor Sails, are gaining traction. These advanced sails, inspired by history but technologically superior, offer auxiliary propulsion to vessels to enable them to maintain their speed but with reduced fuel usage, which can in turn significantly reduce carbon emissions.

Rotor Sails are particularly popular for their retrofitting potential, allowing easy installation on existing vessels in port or dry dock.  With wind power abundant on many trade routes, ship owners are embracing these modern solutions to drive efficiency and cut emissions.

Simplicity

Rotor Sails are genius in their ingenuity. They harness the “Magnus Effect”, rotating within airflow to produce forward thrust perpendicular to the wind. This additional thrust can enhance speed or reduce engine power, dramatically cutting fuel consumption and emissions. Versatile and simple to install, they are suitable for various vessel types. Each sail can be swiftly fitted, even during dry dock or while berthed, making them ideal for rapid retrofits. Moreover, they are portable assets, and can be transferred between ships as required. With their uncomplicated design and swift installation, Rotor Sails offer a rapid and efficient solution for reducing emissions and enhancing efficiency in the maritime sector.

Rotor Sail placement and design on vessels must carefully consider safety and efficiency, ensuring no hindrance to cargo handling. Anemoi Marine Technologies, a leading developer based in the United Kingdom and with a world-class production facility in China, retrofitted three 24-m Rotor Sails on the Kamsarmax bulk carrier TR Lady in June 2023 at Chengxi Shipyard in China. Despite the challenge larger bulkers face in meeting efficiency targets, Rotor Sail technology is ideal due to their ample deck space and predictable wind patterns.

Exclusive: Anemoi lays out financial and environmental benefits of Rotor Sails

TR Lady's trial voyage from China to Australia yielded positive results and annual savings of 10% in fuel consumption and emissions are expected. The sails, which are installed on Anemoi’s transverse rail deployment system, can be moved on the deck when berthed for cargo operations.

Anemoi's Chief Executive Officer, Kim Diederichsen, highlighted the effectiveness and cost efficiency of the technology in reducing emissions: “The installation of Rotor Sails on TR Lady and the results we have seen so far show how effective Rotor Sails are when it comes to reducing the fuel consumption and emissions of a vessel. Rotor Sails are a visible, viable and cost-effective decarbonisation technology.”

Diederichsen went on to say: “Our background equipped us with the knowledge of how to best adapt the technology for complex vessel operations. As a result, we developed a range of Rotor Sails with variable heights and, most uniquely, a range of deployment systems and mounting arrangements. This includes a standard fixed mounting; a folding deployment, which enables the cylinders to be lowered from vertical to enable the vessel to pass under low bridges and avoid impact to cargo loading and unloading; and finally our patented rail system that was used on TR Lady.”

Their technology, adapted for complex vessel operations, includes variable heights and deployment systems like folding and patented rail systems, ensuring adaptability and minimal impact on cargo operations.

Anemoi developed a Fuel Saving Assessment Model (FSAM) to accurately predict fuel and emissions savings. FSAM utilizes Rotor Sail performance, vessel data, route, and wind conditions to simulate historic voyages over five years, ensuring fair and transparent results accounting for additional drag and generator usage.

Forward Thinking

Anemoi already has a number of projects underway with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Vale and Berge Bulk to install Rotor Sails onboard vessels over the coming months and, in February, it received funding from the UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to develop a new diameter of Rotor Sail and innovative drive system. Buoyed by its success on bulk carriers, Anemoi has also signed a deal with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group to develop Rotor Sail designs specifically for LNG vessels.

As per the UK’s Clean Maritime Plan, the wind propulsion technology market, including Rotor Sails, is expected to soar to GBP 2 billion (USD 2.5 billion) annually by 2050, a substantial rise from the projected GBP 300 million in the 2020s.

This growth is directly tied to the credibility of Rotor Sails as a decarbonisation technology.  As alternative fuels and other eco-friendly innovations become market-ready, auxiliary wind propulsion methods can be used in tandem to garner even more environmental benefits for the shipping sector.

 

Photo credit: Anemoi Marine Technologies
Published: 16 May, 2024

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