maritime industry is in a state of flux. The arrival of COVID-19 threw a
spanner in the works; but growing interest in alternate fuel and energy
efficiency, digitization, and the business trend of moving from solution
providers to service providers, are changing the face of the maritime industry.
The last few years
saw the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set goals and regulations to
reduce emissions. In January of this year, the IMO’s cap on sulfur used for
marine fuels came into effect. Reducing overall carbon footprint, as well as
balancing fuel consumption in individual vessels to create cost savings should
be enough motivation for all stakeholders.
Electrical propulsion could have a bright future
For some years,
liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been considered the frontrunner for cutting
ship emissions Electrical propulsion, on the other hand, could have a bright
future. Beginning in the 1980s, e-propulsion is now established in certain
vessels such as ice breakers, cruise liners, and drilling vessels operated by
dynamic positioning. Related installation and training costs are high, but
going forward, the pros of electrical propulsion far outweigh the cons.
Mixing biodiesel into their fuel
This year, various
shipping companies began mixing biodiesel into their fuel supply. In some
cases, biodiesel can generate 90% less CO2 than virgin fuel; but offsetting a
portion of fuel oil with recycled substances also helps these vessels to
contribute to, cutting carbon emissions in real terms.
Innovative coating technologies
can also be achieved with innovative coating technologies. AIRCOAT is a
European consortium which aims to further develop water-repellant coatings by
creating a permanent layer of air under the vessel when submerged, it helps to
streamline the vessel and encourages fuel savings.
Wind in the sails, sun on the back
Solar and wind
energy have managed to shake off the “alternative source” label, and both are
now seen as plausible solutions to our energy problems.. Eco Marine Power’s
Energysail and Sauter Carbon Offset Design (SCOD)’s Green Tanker designs
harness wind and solar power to reduce fuel costs and the industry’s carbon
footprint, bringing the ship of the future in sight.
In fact, a shake-up
of ship design is on the horizon. But less outlandish measures are under
consideration too. In recent times, German company Becker Marine has led the
way in optimizing vessels’ propulsion performance, by modifying the
fore-and-aft flow of water into the propeller. Mewis ducts, rudder bulbs, and
other optimizations are now being regarded as standard by many ship designers.
power of COVID-19 has highlighted once again the possibility of autonomous
operation, as companies discuss ways to prevent the spread of any future