DNV helping customers reduce running costs

02 Feb 2010

In response to customer demand for reducing operating costs and rising concerns over carbon emissions, DNV is working with a number shipowners and operators to reduce fuel consumption up to 15 percent annually.

For the past five years, DNV says that it has developed and customised energy management systems for about 20 customers to optimise their fuel usage. While these shipowners and operators represent different segments of the industry and approach energy efficiency and fuel management in different ways, the results have been positive.

According to Rolf Ole Jensen, DNV’s principal consultant for energy efficiency and fuel management services, shipowners and operators who use the DNV energy management programme can expect to trim between 5% and 15% of their annual fuel costs, depending on the performance of their existing systems and equipment. “DNV provides a robust and comprehensive implementation structure, with clear priorities and benchmarks to measure success,” he says. “But for customers to get the most out of the system, they must adapt these tools to fit with their needs and take ownership of every phase.”

The comprehensive programme looks at everything from bunkering to trim optimisation, weather routing to engine performance, purchasing routines to marine coatings solutions. “Individually, managing these issues has minimal impact on fuel usage, but taken together, the programme can have a real impact,” says Jensen. “In a broader sense, it is as much about focusing on the issue, managing details and building awareness than any single action. The main barrier to energy efficiency is not technology, but implementation and measuring efficiency.”

Höegh Autoliners, a Norwegian ro-roship operator, began working with DNV in early 2007 and by the spring of 2008, launched its own energy management programme, known as e-MAP. According to project leader Knut Ljungberg, the programme has already produced results. “In 18 months, we have lowered fuel consumption from 107.5 down to 100.3 (tonne/1,000 naut miles),” he says. “This 7% reduction is the result of increased organisational awareness, more efficient use of auxiliary engines, weather routing, improved voyage planning and many other small adjustments to how we manage fuel.”

Ljungberg says that the organisation focused both on quick wins, small, low cost adjustments which had an immediate impact, while also investing time and resources in more ambitious fuel savings programmes, such as pilot-testing engine monitoring equipment. “We have the full support of management and the owners, and I have been encouraged by how quickly the organisation has adapted to this new way of thinking about energy,” he says. “While we still have a long way to go, we are on target to reduce our fuel costs by 10% by the end of the year.”

While Ljungberg continues to work with DNV on some issues related to e-MAP, Jensen says the success of the project belongs to Höegh Autoliners. “We provided the tools and support, but Höegh Autoliners has done the hard work of changing the organisation and following through on complex issues,” he says.

Looking ahead, Jensen is confident that demand for DNV’s energy efficiency and fuel management services will increase. “In today’s market, shipowners and operators have become increasingly sensitive to fuel costs, and with regulations on carbon emissions now on the horizon, this service has real value,” he says. “they can’t change the market, but they can control costs.”

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