Sea-going vessels could enjoy substantial savings on fuel and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions if they were better informed about the availability of berths and adapted their speed accordingly, finds a study recently commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority (POR) and Netherlands research institute TNO.
If sea-going vessels are regularly kept informed, particularly during the last 12 hours before arrival, about exactly when their berth will become available, they will be able to adapt their sailing speed accordingly, says POR.
The act of reducing vessel speed so that they arrive just in time for berth in turn leads to less fuel consumption and therefore lower emissions of unwanted substances such as carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides.
Significant savings are also possible thanks to shorter waiting times for ships in anchorage areas.
“By supplying more accurate information to ships, 4% – or 134,000 tonnes – of CO2 emissions can be saved every year,” explains Jan Hulskotte, Senior Researcher at TNO.
“To do this, container ships would have to adjust their sailing speed by an average of 5%, and still arrive at the planned arrival time.”
Bulkers, which sometimes have to wait at anchor for hours or even days, can also benefit from shorter waiting times in anchorage areas.
“If this waiting time was an average of 12 hours shorter, that would really make a difference in percentage terms, with an annual reduction of 35% in emissions. So we’re talking about 188,000 tonnes of CO2 and 1,000 tonnes of nitrous oxides,” explains Hulskotte.
The results of the study were presented the head office of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London during a meeting of the IMO Intersessional working group on the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions from ships.
“In percentage terms, we’re talking about modest amounts,” says Astrid Dispert, Technical Adviser of the GloMEEP Project (Global Maritime Energy E?iciency Partnerships).
“But it’s exactly these types of measures that can make a huge difference in the short term and help reduce the carbon footprint of marine shipping. Added to that, they’d also have a beneficial effect on the wallets of the shipping companies.”
Photo credit: POR/TNO
Published: 19 October, 2018
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