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Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.




Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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APM 2024 Interview: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping discusses green bunker fuels and maritime decarbonisation

Nørgaard of MMMCZCS weighs in on the importance of alternative bunker fuels and maritime technologies, top maritime decarbonisation research the centre is involved in and Singapore’s role in supporting decarbonisation in shipping worldwide.





Torben Nørgaard, Chief Technology Officer – Energy & Fuels of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping

Torben Nørgaard, Chief Technology Officer – Energy & Fuels of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, recently spoke with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times, ahead of the Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) 2024 to be held on 13 to 15 March. 

Nørgaard weighed in on the importance of alternative bunker fuels and maritime technologies, top maritime decarbonisation research the centre is involved in and growing traction for dual-fuelled vessels. He also gave his take on Singapore’s role in supporting decarbonisation in shipping worldwide. 

MT: With talks of maritime decarbonisation, do you think more attention should be given to alternative marine fuels or maritime technologies such as improved ship design, wind assisted propulsion and digital fleet management systems? Or do you think both are equally important in achieving decarbonisation? Why?

Both maritime technologies and new bunker fuels are equally important for decarbonising the shipping industry. On one hand, the best fuel to decarbonise the industry is the fuel we do not use at all. Hence, improving technologies to drive energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce emissions, as it focuses on minimising fuel consumption. It can contribute to 30 to 40% of the necessary emissions reductions. However, vessels will still require fuel, making the development of new, cleaner fuels essential for the remaining 60-70%.

The technologies for energy efficiency come at a relatively low cost and can be implemented quickly across a value chain and within a controlled environment. That's why the IMO's short-term measures focus on accelerating energy efficiency in vessels – it's vital for achieving the 2030 decarbonisation goals. However, that is not enough; you also need alternative fuels to operate in parallel.

Developing new fuels requires more time and investment for building production plants. Nonetheless, it's urgent to start now so that new fuels can scale up to meet the industry's needs.

In short, maritime technologies and new marine fuels are equally important and must be developed in parallel to decarbonise the shipping industry successfully.

MT: What maritime technologies and alternative fuels do you think the industry should be focusing and investing in? 

When it comes to alternative fuels, there's no single winner. They all need to be mobilised in parallel to meet the targets. Methane, methanol, ammonia and bio-oils are strong contenders. These fuels must be developed and deployed in parallel to meet decarbonisation targets.

Let's break maritime technology into two equally important categories for achieving our goals.

First, we look at technology energy efficiency. These technologies improve the vessel's physical operation, allowing it to cover the same distance and carry the same cargo using less fuel. We can implement this today at a relatively low cost compared to fuel alternatives.

Second, we have operational energy efficiency. This focuses on optimising how we do business in the industry. How can we share data more effectively, comply with "just in time" principles, and optimise routes and cargo loads across vessels? Optimising these processes lets us transport the same amount of cargo while intelligently reducing fuel consumption.

This area is still developing, especially when sharing data across companies to optimise for emissions reduction rather than just individual company profits. Some regulatory and policy changes will be required to utilise these strategies fully, and I look forward to discussing the influence of these initiatives in supporting the energy transition of the maritime industry at a conference session at the upcoming Asia Pacific Maritime 2024.

In this session, titled A Net Zero Carbon Maritime Industry – Will We Ever Get There, alongside fellow industry experts, we also hope to address the economic and operational impacts of pursuing a net-zero carbon maritime sector.

MT: Could you highlight some of the top research the centre has done on maritime decarbonisation and the results so far? How can these findings help the maritime sector decarbonise?

We are seeing significant interest in lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology. We're proud to have developed a robust methodology recognised as an industry-wide standard for the maritime sector. Our work aligns with and supports ongoing initiatives within the IMO, and we'll continue to push for its operational adoption.

Another area where we're driving change is in our "book and claim" initiative. This demonstration project focuses on cross-company, cross-sector fuel consumption, linking the green attributes of fuels with the cargo associated with the highest willingness to pay. This innovative trading mechanism will help close the gap between the cost of current fuels and the reality of operating on new, greener alternatives, ultimately driving larger investments.

On the vessel development front, our NOGAPS project is making significant progress in the designing and certifying of an ammonia-fuelled vessel. We've obtained approval in principle from a classification society and will continue to push for the construction of this vessel. This work paves the way for one of the most promising decarbonisation pathways – ammonia – by documenting design, establishing operational procedures, and providing a replicable model for the industry.

MT: What is your view on the growing traction for dual-fuelled vessels in the orderbook? How does the orderbook trend reflect on the shipping sector's attitude towards decarbonisation?

The growing adoption of dual-fuelled vessels is a clear sign that the industry is preparing for the decarbonisation journey ahead. There are several motivations behind this trend.

Some companies invest in dual-fuelled vessels to gain a commercial advantage as early adopters. This can attract customers with a strong focus on sustainability and secure the associated premium value. Others are preparing for future regulations that may penalise vessels unable to operate on alternative fuels. Dual-fuelled vessels provide flexibility in this evolving regulatory landscape.

Regardless of whether the motivation comes from regulatory pressure, market demand, or a combination of both, the growth of dual-fuel vessels is a positive development. It increases fleet flexibility, which will be essential as we transition to a future where fuel types and availability will vary over the region and evolve over time due to cost, competition, and technological advancements.

MT: How can Singapore, as the world's largest bunkering hub, help the international shipping sector decarbonise?

As the world's largest bunkering hub, Singapore must ensure a steady supply and demand balance for emerging fuels. A key strategy is integrating diverse sectors, creating a comprehensive hub that serves beyond the maritime industry. This positions Singapore as a first mover in significant investments and in establishing global standards for safety, fuel composition, and operational procedures.

Singapore's success depends on collaboration. It needs to expand its influence to support the development of aligned hubs around it, ensuring its continued leadership position. Singapore is well-positioned to lead these efforts and can significantly contribute to the global energy transition by continuing to be the world's largest bunkering hub and driving its development in this direction.

Related: Singapore: 120 maritime industry experts to share insights at APM 2024
Related: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping and Chile sign MoU to explore green corridors
Related: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping publishes paper on biodiesel bunker fuels
Related: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping reveals ammonia-powered boxship design


Photo credit: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping
Published: 11 March, 2024

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MOL starts trial to test wind measurement device installed on RoRo vessel

Firm announced start of a demonstration experiment using Metro Weather’s Doppler LiDAR, installed on RORO vessel “MUSASHI MARU” to reduce bunker fuel consumption onboard.





MOL starts trial to test wind measurement device installed on RoRo vessel

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Metro Weather on Friday (8 March) announced the start of a demonstration experiment of Metro Weather's Doppler LiDAR, a long-range wind condition measurement device installed on a RORO vessel. 

The firm said this was the first time in the world that a Doppler LiDAR has been installed on a large seagoing vessel. The vessel MUSASHI MARU is owned by MOL Group company, MOL Sunflower Ltd.

Using the Doppler LiDAR, MOL and Metro Weather will observe real-time wind in three dimensional more than 10 km away from MUSASHI MARU and can see such wind conditions onboard. In addition, as part of the maritime industry's digital transformation (DX), big data, such as wind conditions obtained onboard, is transferred to shore via Starlink, a high-speed data communication system. 

MOL starts trial to test wind measurement device installed on RoRo vessel

“This aims to reduce fuel oil consumption onboard and contribute to safe operations,” they said. 

MOL has invested in Metro Weather through MOL PLUS Co., Ltd., an MOL Group corporate venture capital arm, pursuing business alliances in a wide range of fields. 

“MOL and Metro Weather will continue to leverage their core technologies and resources to add new value to the shipping industry and society through synergy,” the firms added.


Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 11 March, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

GCMD dives into legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation

Investments must broaden across the value chain, expand into the upstream to secure a long-term supply of affordable fuel for growing class of dual-fuelled fleet, says Shane Balani of GCMD.





GCMD dives into legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Tuesday (23 January) shared perspectives of its Director of Research & Projects at GCMD, Shane Balani, during law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP's final session of the Singapore Decarbonisation Series 2024.

Moderated by Jonathan Ward, the panel on “Shipbuilding, retrofits, batteries and financing”, delved into the complex legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation.

With panellists intimately familiar with the challenges of financing the energy transition of shipping, the discussion emphasised the need to rethink existing approaches. Balani of GCMD gave his perspectives on the following issues: 

How can stakeholders of the value chain finance the energy transition of shipping?

We are seeing a growing traction in dual-fuelled vessels in the orderbook, each one culminating from careful consideration and optimisation of all the factors at play – safety, cost, long-term availability of alternative fuels, and GHG abatement – before landing on the exact fuel combinations.

With so many options still on the table, and no clear standard choice, financing of dual-fuelled vessels should not stop at the hull. Investments must broaden across the value chain, expand into the upstream to secure a long-term supply of affordable fuel for this growing class of fleet.

What are the challenges to installing EETs onboard existing and retrofitted vessels? 

Though several promising energy efficiency technologies (EETs), such as batteries, wind propulsion, are available, none will work as a standalone. Combined with retrofits, they may be effective in helping shipping to meet the IMO’s 2030 ambitions to reduce shipping emissions by 20 to 30%. 

Deployment of EETs through financial instruments like sustainability-linked loans comes with stringent borrowing requirements and quantification of performance to justify the payback for retrofitting the vessel fleets. Currently the variable operating conditions of vessels lead to uncertainties, making it difficult for shipowners, financiers, lawyers, classification societies to assess the actual impact of EETs. 

Also, as shipowners bear the upfront costs of retrofitting vessels, but the fuel savings and economic benefits flow instead to charterers, there is the problem of spilt incentive that discourages widespread adoption.

How can we scale the adoption of energy efficiency technologies?

Clear, verified, transparent data-sharing on the performance of retrofitted vessels is required to allow stakeholders to verify their fuel savings and attribute these to specific EETs deployed. The linkages, when proven, will open up opportunities to unlock financing mechanisms and release investments, scaling the mass adoption of energy efficiency technologies. 


Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 23 January, 2024

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