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Opsealog: Path to data-driven efficiency in the OSV sector

Damien Bertin highlights findings of the firm’s latest white paper and offers recommendations that can help OSV operators secure immediate gains in fuel efficiency.

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Opsealog: The path to data-driven efficiency in the OSV sector

Damien Bertin, Business Director at maritime performance management expert Opsealog, highlights findings of the company’s latest white paper, offering recommendations that can help OSV operators secure immediate gains in fuel efficiency and reduce the carbon impact of their offshore activities:

Most OSV operators know what it takes to operate a fleet well. What they don’t always have is the precise, granular data they need to assess whether or not their vessels are performing at their best.

Fuel monitoring and analytics enables companies to track their fuel usage, have a better understanding of their energy efficiency and monitor the technical performance of the engines. For fleet managers, having detailed monitoring in place helps them gain insights on how to adjust operations to improve efficiency, reduce their carbon footprint and control operational costs. It also quantifies the reduction in fuel consumption gained from efficiency improvements or hull cleaning, for instance. 

In short, it gives fleet managers the data to follow up on an objective, with an evidence-driven basis for making the best decisions about their fleet’s current operations and future trajectories.

The rise of the digital era comes as pressure to decarbonise is growing rapidly: globally through the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and its Data Collection System (DCS), and regionally through measures such as the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) and EU MRV (monitoring, reporting, and verification) regulation. Although OSV operators are not yet required to comply with these regulations, it is likely they will need to do so in the future, as regulatory targets and reporting requirements ramp up in the OSV sector. 

Whilst maritime decarbonisation targets are ambitious and will require action in the short term, the encouraging news is that there are five clear steps that we can take today that will deliver immediate and significant fuel savings in OSV operations. What is more, these short-term measures will lay the foundations for a long-term programme of change, all driven by a data-led approach to fuel efficiency.   

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Step 1: Mapping the existing data environment 

The Alan Turing Institute defines data 'wrangling' as the process of understanding, integrating, and preparing data for computer modelling. In the context of ship operations, data mapping involves assessing various data sources, both digital and paper-based, and addressing issues like missing or messy data. This mapping also explores potential enhancements through external data, such as weather forecasts. 

Most fuel efficiency improvements can be unlocked with data that is already available, avoiding the need to install new sensors or systems. Instead, the key is to streamline data collection and integration. Connectivity is crucial for data transfer, so upgrades and cybersecurity should be taken into consideration. 

Collating data from different sources often requires the deployment of Application Program Interfaces (APIs), and questions of data ownership must be addressed contractually. 

Step 2: Understanding the data analysis process

After data is collected, checked, and integrated, human oversight becomes crucial in the analysis process. While digital tools provide a precise snapshot of fleet performance and identify patterns, human expertise is necessary to interpret the data in the specific context of the company, fleet, and operational challenges. In short, people play a vital role in transforming data into actionable insights and driving change.

Digital solutions help operators leverage data for regulatory compliance and business opportunities. These solutions can analyse historical and forecasted data alongside current conditions, automating data collection without burdening the crew. This real-time data enables quick responses to changing conditions and proactive problem-solving. However, it's essential for ship operators to understand how these analyses and recommendations are generated, especially to ensure safety levels are maintained. Although technology contributes to key performance indicators (KPIs), human experience remains irreplaceable in ship operation and management.

Step 3: Identifying clear goals for greater efficiency 

Providing insights into factors like fuel consumption and emissions, embracing digitalisation is a practical decision for companies. In practice, tracking data allows companies to identify starting points and potential areas for improvement, leading to enhanced operational, financial, and environmental outcomes. With this improved information flow and automated reporting, unprecedented accuracy and visualisation enables the setting of goals for improving fuel management. At this point, clear KPIs are crucial for assessing return on investment, and communicating results.

Data on vessel positions, speed, and engine configurations allows understanding of underperforming vessels, facilitating goal-setting for improvement. Tailored insights can be delivered at individual ship or fleet levels, multiplying efficiency gains. However, new operating practices to meet KPIs require acceptance and understanding from crews and shoreside personnel. Contractual and safety issues should be considered in consultation with those involved in day-to-day tasks.

Step 4: Ensuring a collaborative process 

Successful digitalisation requires organisational and cultural changes as much as technological advancement. The transition must encompass all levels, from boardrooms to vessel bridges. While technical challenges like data integration can be resolved, a shift in mindsets is crucial for effective implementation. Real dialogue and discussions about on-the-ground realities are vital for success.

User experience is paramount, requiring investment in software design to ensure users are comfortable with interfaces and understand their roles and goals. Projects often involve multiple stakeholders, including third-party providers, and data from various sources, requiring collaborative efforts for smooth integration.

Internal stakeholders, especially managers, play a crucial role in implementing a new digital mindset. While a project manager may coordinate with external providers, overall engagement from everyone in the company is essential. Securing buy-in and adoption from employees involves investing time and resources to engage them and convey the meaningful impact of digital solutions on their roles and responsibilities. At Opsealog, we believe that digitalisation is viewed as a continuous journey rather than a singular outcome.

Step 5: Managing ongoing change 

Pilot testing new approaches is crucial for gaining valuable experience and building confidence in the broader implementation of digital solutions. Change management is a vital aspect of digitalisation projects, and operators may wish to limit changes initially to specific projects, regions, or vessel types. Some solutions may be tailored to certain operations or vessels with specific power systems, impacting the rollout strategy.

Following the initial project, an operator's digital ecosystem continues to grow, driven by confidence in fuel efficiency improvements. As regulations continue to change, and with ongoing expert consultation more opportunities for reducing fuel consumption will be revealed. As new low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels emerge, data collection and processing methods will need to adapt, ensuring robust measurements of consumption, emissions, and operational costs associated with adopting these new fuels.

Digitalisation is an ongoing process rather than a final destination. Establishing foundations for onboard reporting supports long-term organisational ambitions, but data processes must evolve to align with the changing landscape of the energy transition. Internal communication of successes ensures operational gains positively impact future tenders, while external communication to charterers, financiers, and insurance providers enhances strategic opportunities and creates lasting value for the operator.

Photo credit: Opsealog
Published: 27 November, 2023

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Technology

Singapore-based EPS to roll out DeepSea AI performance solution across fleet

DeepSea’s Cassandra system will help EPS to minimise bunker fuel consumption, reduce GHG emissions, and support its decarbonisation goals.

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Singapore-based EPS to roll out DeepSea AI performance solution across fleet

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Friday (31 May) said it has entered into an agreement with DeepSea Technologies to implement a comprehensive fleet-wide deployment of DeepSea’s pioneering Cassandra Performance Monitoring platform. 

By leveraging DeepSea’s revolutionary Cassandra system, EPS will monitor its diverse and extensive fleet in real-time, through accurate AI-generated digital twins of vessel machinery. 

The fleet spans across multiple segments, including bulk, tanker, gas, container, and PCTC vessels. The implementation of this advanced technology will enable EPS to harness high-frequency data across all segments.

The collaboration between EPS and DeepSea Technologies will equip EPS with precise and detailed modelling and analytics. The Cassandra solution will deliver the most advanced and current understanding of the entire fleet’s performance, enabling EPS to make well-informed and dynamic decisions in real-time.

This enhanced decision-making capability will allow EPS to minimise bunker fuel consumption, reduce GHG emissions, and support its decarbonisation goals.

EPS’ Fleet Performance Manager Pavlos Karagiannidis, said: “As we embark on this journey of digital transformation, harnessing the power of DeepSea’s Cassandra platform, we’re not just optimizing performance. We are charting a course towards a more sustainable and efficient future for maritime operations.”

DeepSea CEO Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos, said: “We are very excited to start rolling out our solution across EPS’ diverse fleet and look forward to continuing to improve our offerings through the feedback of such a leading player in the industry.”

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 3 June 2024

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Decarbonisation

APM 2024: Achieving IMO GHG 2030 goal is possible but requires firing all cylinders, says DNV

DNV believes it is possible to meet IMO GHG 2030 goal which requires shipping to secure 30–40% of estimated annual global supply of carbon-neutral bunker fuels, but emphasizes a lot needs to be done.

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APM 2024: Achieving IMO GHG 2030 goal is possible but requires firing all cylinders, says DNV

Experts from classification society DNV participated in various panel sessions at the Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) 2024, held from 13 to 15 March, discussing decarbonization, the importance of pilot projects to find green and sustainable solutions, industry trends and the evolving role of vessel classification among others:

At Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) at Marina Bay Sands Singapore last week, there was alot to see and hear about technology and innovations, about digitalization and decarbonization.

But was there enough evidence of genuine commitment by the maritime industry to make the very necessary changes – with alternative fuels, more energy efficient operations or in ship design - in time to reach the targets that IMO has set?

“A near impossible task” to meet the IMO GHG 2030 goal which requires shipping to secure 30–40% of the estimated annual global supply of carbon-neutral fuels, said DNV’s Area Business Development Manager Girish Sreeraman, in the discussion on “Clean Energy Transition in Shipping: Optimizing Strategies, Hitting IMO Targets and Balancing Profitability”.

Drawing on DNV’s latest report “Energy Transition Outlook 2023”, he pointed out that other sectors will be competing for the same cleaner and greener fuel supply. It is therefore imperative for the shipping industry to align environmental objectives with financial sustainability in its transition to cleaner energy sources.

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Operational Energy-efficient Measures

DNV believes it is possible, but a lot more needs to be done to reduce energy consumption, using operational energy-efficiency measures like speed reduction, route optimization, and hull and propeller cleaning.

This was reiterated by Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, VP, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, Maritime at DNV – who said that we must continue to focus on all other ways to cut emissions from the maritime sector, which includes making our vessels more energy efficient and at the same time, looking to alternative fuels.

Speaking on the “Norwegian Innovations: Pioneering Green and Sustainable Maritime Solutions” panel, Cristina reinforced the value of learning and adopting innovative measures from Norway and applying them in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Norway and Singapore both put into practice the importance of testing, to ensure that any new ideas adopted are economically viable.

Pioneering Solutions by using Pilots

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When it comes to pioneering green and sustainable solutions, Cristina stressed on the importance of ‘piloting’ and the importance of safety and training our people to be ready for change.

She also noted increased activity in the electrification of vessels, where Norway has taken the lead – and is growing here in Singapore as well - with the introduction of electric and hybrid harbour craft.

It is essential to take into consideration the whole life cycle of the electric vessel supply chain.

This is where DNV together with local partners like Seatrium, Surbana Jurong Group and others, with support from Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), is working to develop Singapore's first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain.

While electrification is but one solution to decarbonize the maritime industry, it is noteworthy that it might only account for about 4% of the 2050 maritime fuel-mix, as per DNV’s latest report.

Challenges, Uncertainties and New Risks

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The evolution happening in the maritime industry in connection with decarbonization and digitalization brings many new challenges, with numerous uncertainties and new risks.

This was emphasized by Vice President & Area Manager, SEA(S) & Indian Subcontinent at DNV Maritime, Denzal Hargreaves in the session on “Future of Vessel Classification – How Classification is Evolving to Support Innovation and Sustainability”.

With the emergence of new, alternative fuels and technologies, the increasing complexity and diversity of vessel designs come together to make the core role of Class Societies, like DNV – to safeguard life, property and the environment - more important now than ever.

But we must maximize the use of technology and all tools at our disposal.

Denzal believes we can achieve added efficiency through the effective use of technology, but we still need to rely on the expertise of our people playing key roles.

Maintaining the role of the ship surveyor

There are many expectations in the industry on the expanded role being played by digitalization, but we have to realize that the majority of these aids and algorithms are designed to collect information and supply the data we need, but they don’t replace the human element.

The role of the ship surveyor, for example, is to use all of his or her senses to observe, to assess and to collect everything needed to make decisions. The digital transformation helps us collect all the relevant data, but the human element is still there, and the specific skill sets are still required.

The maritime industry needs the ship surveyor more than ever as we need to identify and introduce collaboration and innovation, which are increasingly essential. Of course, we can make full use of technology. We’re seeing underwater drones being used to make inspections at sea. They can undertake cargo tank inspections, using visual recognition software and digital twins to perform surveys and highlight potential risk areas which can be followed up by experts.

We can have the best technology available, but not forget the importance of the human element, equipping and training people to do the job.

Related:DNV: Maritime fuel mix by 2050 projected to consists of 84% alternative bunker fuels

 

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 22 March 2024

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Retrofit

Singapore-based Hafnia tankers to be retrofitted with Wärtsilä propulsion efficiency solution

Wärtsilä will supply its EnergoFlow and EnergoProFin solutions for ten Bird Class oil and chemical tankers owned by Hafnia to considerably improve propulsion efficiency.

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Singapore-based Hafnia tankers to be retrofitted with Wärtsilä propulsion efficiency solution

Technology group Wärtsilä on Thursday (23 November) said it will be supplying its EnergoFlow and EnergoProFin solutions for ten Bird Class oil and chemical tankers owned by Hafnia – the Singapore head-quartered global tanker operator. 

The combination of the two Wärtsilä systems ensures an optimised waterflow over and after the propeller, thereby improving propulsion efficiency considerably. The order was booked by Wärtsilä in October 2023.

EnergoFlow is an innovative pre-swirl stator that creates an optimal inflow for the propeller, reducing fuel consumption and emissions in all operating conditions. The EnergoProFin is an energy saving propeller cap with fins that rotate together with the propeller. It reduces the energy losses created by the propeller hub vortex, increasing overall propulsion efficiency and significantly reducing underwater noise.   

By improving the vessels’ fuel efficiency, emissions are reduced, operating costs are lowered, and both the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating and Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) value are improved.

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“There are many benefits to be gained by improving the operating efficiency of our vessels’ propulsion systems and we look forward to having these innovative Wärtsilä solutions installed,” said Ralph Juhl, EVP, Technical Director at Hafnia.

“At Hafnia we are working hard to decarbonise our operations and these retrofitted solutions will support this commitment.”

“Wärtsilä’s OPTI Design methodology takes advantage of computational fluid dynamics along with our extensive in-house know-how. The EnergoProFin propeller cap and EnergoFlow pre-swirl stator work together to deliver meaningful fuel savings and better environmental performance, which are key ambitions for today’s leading operators,” said Francois Emin, Product Manager – Propulsion, Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to be delivered commencing in 2024. The project will be carried out over a two-year period for the 10 vessels.

Photo credit: Wärtsilä 
Published: 24 November, 2023

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