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Survey highlights barriers to vessel energy management solutions

19 Feb 2018

A survey report conducted by global law firm Clyde & Co and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) has found key barriers to and issues around the adoption of new energy management solutions.

The survey of 220 international marine industry executives showed the group believing availability of compliant bunker fuels, among other factors, to affect market adoption for energy management solutions.

The findings include:

  • Cost – 63% of global marine industry executives think that costs will impede the adoption of new energy management solutions
  • Fuel availability – 73% believe that fuel availability will strongly drive the market for energy management solutions
  • Crew skills – 64% worry that energy management solutions will place additional demands on crews

“Where fuel can account for as much as half of the operating costs for the shipping industry, it’s no surprise that the marine industry is keeping an eye on both the availability of fuel and cost of energy management solutions,” says Conte Cicala, partner at Clyde & Co in San Francisco.

“The cost of heavy fuel oil (HFO), which is the fuel most commonly used in ship engines has, by historical standards, remained relatively low over the past decade.

“As long as the cost of HFO is low compared to that of new energy management solutions, it’s unlikely that the benefits of the new technology will be felt as the industry will be unwilling to voluntarily invest.

“As with any new technology, energy management solutions could impact crews who may need to acquire new competencies as well as taking on additional maintenance workloads to keep the technology running.

“Organisations investing in such technology will need to consider the most efficient way to train their staff up before the technology is rolled out.”

The report also noted over 68% of executives believing a lack of uniform international environmental regulations impeding the adoption of green technologies in shipping.

An example is the global sulphur emissions limit, which forces ship operators to use fuel on board with a sulphur content of no more than 3.5%; this limit is set to be reduced further in 2020 to 0.5%.

Photo credit: Clyde & Co
Published: 19 February 2018

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