P&E34 winds up successfully

25 May 2012
The two days of formal procedings sandwiched the conference dinner, a tradition German celebration of food and beer, sponsored by DNV

The two days of formal procedings sandwiched the conference dinner, a traditional German celebration of food and beer, sponsored by DNV

The second day of The Motorship’s 34th Propulsion & Emissions conference in Hamburg began with a session on exhaust gas cleaning, following an introduction from the day’s chairman, Dr Fabian Kock from Germanischer Lloyd.

The first presentation, from Alfa Laval’s Jens Peter Hansen, examined the Aalborg scrubber installation on the DFDS ro-ro ship Ficaria Seaways – the system now comes under the Alfa Laval PureSOx brand. This is the largest scrubber so far installed, and the first for a two-stroke engine, which presents more challenges than the previous four-stroke installations. Tony Bowers of Kittiwake Procal then outlined why the company feels that Scheme B of the two alternatives under MEPC 184(59) for scrubber approval is the correct way forward. Scheme B requires continuous monitoring, whereas Scheme A depends on initial certification and periodic checks.

Gökhan Eris of Couple Systems described the first operational experiences with a dry scrubber system, using gypsum, and combined with an SCR to remove NOx. This was followed by a light-hearted, but thought-provoking, speech by Per A Brinckmann, technical vice-president of Wilh Wilhemsen, who explained how his company is approaching future emissions limits, and why, despite some perceived disadvantages, exhaust gas cleaning looks like the most favourable option, and is to be trialled on one ship, fed by the man engine and five auxiliaries.

Lubricants were the subject of the next session. First up was Total Lubmarine, whose technical manager Jean-Philippe Romain explained that a single cylinder oil to meet the range of fuel sulphur levels within and outside ECAs was possible and should provide the best way forward. This was followed by Steve Walker of ExxonMobil who concentrated on slow steaming and how to lubricate effectively under those conditions – best done with a support of a monitoring programme. Shell Global Solutions explained the latest cylinder oil formulation, developed to reduce oil stress. Marine and power development manager José Luis Garcia described why future oils need wider operational flexibility. The presentation by Castrol’s Paul Harrold set out to challenge assumptions about cylinder oil, particularly with regard to 2015, and concluded that a high base number would be necessary.

Session 7 dealt with propulsion technology; Jukka Varis, vice-president ABB Marine, looked at improving efficiency of electric propulsion systems, touching on the DC grid and ABB’s energy management system as well as podded propulsors. MAN’s Jens Ring Nielsen demonstrated how a combination of Kappel propeller and rudder bulb could improve propulsion efficiency. As long as energy-saving devices are properly optimised – through CFD in this case – they can be combined for enhanced energy saving potential. Finally in this session was a speech by Capt Ron Burchett of Corvus Energy who outlined the use of batteries in hybrid propulsion systems – initially for tugs, but since proving a useful and cost-effective power source for propulsion and auxiliary applications in a wider range of ship types.

The final session looked at issues of compliance, management and enforcement. Naturally enough, the classification societies had a strong input. First, Jan Tellkamp of DNV looked at the potential implications of the new ECA limits on shipowners and operators in the North Sea and the Baltic, and whether it poses a risk or a commercial opportunity. Sean Bond of ABS provided a similar overview of the North American ECA, which is only a matter of weeks away, with an evaluation of the future evolution of environmental limits in that region.

With paper-based logs used by shipping almost universally for compliance logging, Dale Neef of DNA Maritime put the case for electronic methods of collecting, recording, storing, transmitting and analysing data, which would reduce workloads and improve accuracy. As market based measures such as emissions trading begin to enter the equation, ‘mechatronic’ systems start to look even more attractive.

Finally Capt Carsten Fahrenkrug of the Hamburg Waterways Police outlined how the ECA sulphur limits would be enforced in Hamburg, and explained how and when action might be taken in cases of non-compliance.

The conference was closed by Jesper Mortensen, head of business development at Maersk Oil Trading, who said that the 2015 challenge should be met by new innovation, industry collaboration, and integrated solutions. Maersk is involved in a number of collaborative projects, notably in scrubbers and LNG supplies. Although the technical challenges are considerable, there are other hurdles, such as the lack of LNG infrastructure, that have to be cleared. Projects like the Danish ‘Green Ship of the Future’ study provide further examples of collaboration. There is still a lot to do on the regulatory side; 2015 is very close but there is still confusion among shipowners. Without a level playing field, owners are not going to risk their capital in meeting the regulations.

Jesper Mortensen of Maersk Oil Trading provided the closing address, reiterating that to meet the 2015 challenge, the industry needs to innovate, collaborate and integrate. Maersk is involved in a number of collaborative projects, notably in scrubbers and LNG supplies. Although the technical challenges are considerable, there are other hurdles, such as the lack of LNG infrastructure, that have to be cleared. Projects like the Danish ‘Green Ship of the Future’ study provide further examples of collaboration. There is still a lot to do on the regulatory side; 2015 is very close but there is still confusion among shipowners. Without a level playing field, owners are not going to risk their capital in meeting the regulations, he said.

All in all, the event was counted by all involved as a great success.

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