AP Moller Maersk and Bharati Shipyard are accelerating their moves to cut carbon emissions even as acrimony stalls a global climate deal, which may not be forever, industry officials said.
State-owned Shipping Corp, AP Moller Maersk, the world"s largest container line, and Bharati Shipyard are accelerating their moves to cut carbon emissions even as acrimony stalls a global climate deal, which may not be forever, industry officials said. Bharati, the nation"s second-largest private shipbuilder, is developing the world"s first liquefied natural gas, or LNG, vessel in collaboration with the British engineering firm Rolls Royce.
AP Moller Maersk is running 100 innovation research projects that includes new kinds of ship paints and developing more efficient propellers. If a few shipping companies cut their carbon emission, there could be a substantial reduction in pollution, since more than 80% of the world"s goods are transported through the sea. Currently, ships account for about 4% of the global carbon emissions. While new technologies are expected to cut pollution, the cost of transporting goods may climb, at least in the early stages. ?Designing these LNG ships costs 30-40% more, but this is the design of the future,? PC Kapoor, MD of Bharati Shipyard, had told ET in an interview. ?As more LNG-fuelled vessels are built, costs will come down.? These LNG vessels are based on ?inherent gas safe concept?, implying that the whole ship is safe compared to the current ?explosion-proof engine room design?, which means only the engine room is safe in a ship. ?LNG-propelled vessels offer substantial gains in terms of reduced maintenance, saving on fuel cost and low emissions,? said Mr Kapoor. Shipping lines are taking steps ranging from developing more efficient propellers to reducing friction between water and vessels to check pollution.
?We have created an environment for energy innovation and are currently running up to 100 innovation research projects through Maersk Maritime Technology,? AP Moller Maersk group CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen told ET. ?We are testing new kinds of ship paints, developing more efficient propellers and experimenting with new techniques to reduce friction between water and ships.?
AP Moller Maersk group has reduced its carbon emissions by 9% from 2007 to 2008, mainly due to improved energy efficiency on ships. It has a target to reduce group carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions by 10% from January 2008 to December 2012, using emissions in 2007 as a baseline reference. Maersk is using super slow steaming to cut emissions.
?Reducing speed by 5-10% does increase the number of days at sea, but reduces both fuel consumption and CO2 emission by more than 15%,? said Maersk Line (India & Sri Lanka cluster) MD Rizwan Soomar. ?Careful planning allows us to maintain the same transit and cut-off times on several routes where we have implemented super slow steaming.?
India"s national line also is moving to cut emissions. ?At SCI, we determine technical specifications of vessels, which are more stringent than the minimum statutory IMO requirements,? SCI MD S Hajara said.
International Maritime Organisation maintains a regulatory framework for shipping, including safety and environmental concerns. SCI"s four very large crude carriers (VLCC), acquired after 2005, have clean and environmental-friendly notation.
?Even the medium range tankers delivered in October 2009 have eco-friendly notation and green passport from Lloyds Register of Shipping,? he said.
New technologies, especially the LNG ones if they come on stream, could help coastal shipping, which is dependent on diesel, experts said.
?These LNG ships will be more commercially viable as fuel costs are down by up to 80%,? said Anand V Sharma, director of Mumbai-based shipping consultancy firm, Mantrana Maritime Advisory. ?We have abundant gas in India following many new discoveries on the east coast. LNG-fuelled ships will reduce import dependency along with being eco- friendly.? It is not that all the research would come on stream and be deployed for business straight away, there could be delays.
Maersk is the first in the world to test biofuels on its container ships, but are yet to be used.
?They are not for use now, but for the future when new generations of biofuel do not compete with nature and food production,? said Mr Andersen.