What will 2020/25 bring?

A panel of high-profile shipowners discussing sulphur compliance at The Motorship Propulsion & Emissions Conference A panel of high-profile shipowners discussing sulphur compliance at The Motorship Propulsion & Emissions Conference

The Propulsion & Emissions Conference, organised by The Motorship, will take place at the Grand Elysee Hotel, Hamburg on 11-12 May. Editor Gavin Lipsith looks forward to the 38th instalment of the longest running marine technology conference.

Our industry has changed a great deal since the last time we met in Hamburg. Then, the recent enforcement of fuel sulphur limits in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) was top of the agenda; fuel prices were stable; and big data tools were filed in the ‘nice to have’ drawer for many ship operators.

Today, eighteen months on from the introduction of sulphur ECAs, the world has not collapsed and ship owners have responded pragmatically and with minimal incident to the challenge. Consistent and meaningful enforcement remains elusive, and is essential to ensure a level playing field; anything else is to incentivise non-compliance. The current low fuel prices mean reduced costs for vessels, but also a reduced incentive to invest in the alternative fuels where our future may lie. And the value of big data in optimising our vessels, fleets and businesses is becoming rapidly clearer.

In other ways though, the situation has changed very little. It will be October at least before we find out whether the global 0.5% fuel sulphur cap will come into effect in 2020 or 2025. As our keynote speaker David St Armand of Navigistics Consulting will no doubt discuss, the enforcement date is just one of several unresolved issues: Enforcement on the high seas, and the preparedness of oil refineries to produce a vast quantity of marine-grade low sulphur fuel, are equally pressing issues.

The 38th Propulsion & Emissions Conference will offer delegates first-hand insights into how these and other crucial issues are affecting the business and equipment choices of ship operators, the research and development of equipment suppliers and – crucially – the decisions of regulators. The opening session, featuring presentations from two leading ship operators and one of the industry’s go-to consultants for policy-defining research, is a case in point.

In a presentation exploring the link between the European Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulations and SOx emissions, Niels Bjørn Mortensen, director of regulatory affairs at Maersk Maritime Technology, will explore how increasing transparency under MRV may level the sulphur playing field where direct enforcement has so far failed. His counterpart at Hapag Lloyd, Captain Wolfram Guntermann, director environmental fleet management, will examine how environmental regulatory frameworks have been implemented and enforced to date, as well as identifying future challenges.

The session will conclude with the presentation of first results from CE Delft’s study on the impact of SECA enforcement on transport markets, ports and air quality. Jasper Faber, coordinator aviation and shipping, CE Delft, will provide a unique perspective on the extent to which the new sulphur regime has had its desired effect.

Our second session, on vessel optimisation, takes a much-needed financial look at the business of improving performance and retrofitting ships, with James Mitchell of Carbon War Room and Jens Rohleder of KfW IPEX-Bank examining the rationale – and funding streams available – for investing in green ship technology. They will be joined by Stefan Bülow of HBC Group, who will discuss how ship owners and operators can optimise for the Energy Efficient Design Index while maintaining flexibility.

Another major change for ship operators over the past year has been the introduction of IMO’s Tier III NOx limits in North American and Caribbean ECAs. The conference will hear about Solvang’s recent successful project using exhaust gas recirculation and scrubbers with heavy fuel oil, with results presented by fleet director Tor Øyvind Ask. Daniel Struckmeier, senior project manager, MAN Diesel & Turbo will present on the engine designer’s selective catalytic reduction solution, while Jean-Philippe Roman, technical director, Total Lubmarine, will show a new solution to the engine condition challenges posed by low-NOx operations.

This year’s conference also boasts a strong fuel focus, spread over two sessions and reflecting the emergence of new low-sulphur fuels and alternative fuels. In the first session presentations from two emulsion fuel system suppliers - Jerry Ng, founder and CEO, Blue Ocean Solutions and Luigi Brambilla, chief technical officer, SulNOx Fuel Fusions - will highlight the growing acceptance of this technology, and the steps suppliers are making to overcome technical challenges. Jan de Kat, director energy efficiency and vessel performance, ABS, will discuss how the impact of fuel efficiency measures can be accurately quantified.

The second fuel session will provide an assessment of issues arising from increased use of hybrid and low-sulphur fuels, courtesy of Michael Green, Global Technical Manager – Bunker Fuel Testing, Intertek Lintec, ShipCare Services. Martial Claudepierre, Business Development, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, will present a case study in which Evergas prepared its new Dragon class vessels for ethane running, while Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO, Good Fuels, will discuss how biofuels are becoming a viable and sustainable source of power for the marine sector. The sessions will be concluded with a broader look at sulphur enforcement, now and once the global cap is introduced, from Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General, BIMCO.

The second day of the conference will kick off with a wide exploration of developments in propulsion technology – the traditional core subject of this long-running event. Among the concepts to be discussed will be gas turbine propulsion for container ships; finding the correct propellers for a series of ethane carriers; the importance of monitoring propeller thrust; managing power demand in diesel-electric vessels; and an exploration of fleet optimisation technologies and how ship owners should make their investment choices in a low fuel cost environment.

Paul Hill, chief engineer at Braemar, will take a fascinating look at insurance claims arising from five years’ of slow steaming in the seventh session. His discussion will be complemented by an investigation of the impact of low-sulphur fuels and fuel switching on the operational aspects of slow steaming, by Frank Bernier, director for marketing & sales, CM Technologies. And Monique Vermiere, fuel technologist at Chevron, will discuss the challenges of purchasing low-sulphur fuels.

As the EEDI begins to influence ship design, maintaining safe minimum power is a key concern. Apostolos Papanikolaou, Professor, DNV GL – Maritime will present an update from the SHOPERA project on maintaining manoeuvrability In adverse weather conditions. DNV GL’s Torsten Mundt will also present, explaining the steps that need to be taken by ship owners before they implement MRV regulations. That process will be illustrated in a joint presentation by DFDS Seaways’ Poul Woodall and Verifavia Shipping CEO Julien Dufour.

The final session of the conference will explore how big data is being applied to make shipping more efficient across several sector, from navigation to predicting return on investment on anti-fouling coatings, through to overall asset per3formance optimisation. Joining the panel in this session will be Michael Haranen, Senior Data Scientist, NAPA; Dr. Barry Kidd, Section Manager, Hydrodynamics, AkzoNobel Marine Coatings; and Stefan M Nygård, General Manager, Asset Performance Optimisation Services, Wärtsilä Corp.

The 2016 conference dinner will take place in the Schones Leben, Speicherstadt on Wednesday 11 May – offering a perfect opportunity for delegates to network and unwind while taking in the local cultural and culinary traditions.

As always, The Motorship is grateful to all the supporters and sponsors of this event, without which the Propulsion & Emissions Conference would not be such a long-standing success. Our industry advisory panel was also instrumental in defining this year’s agenda, and we thank them for their efforts and time, given graciously alongside their demanding everyday duties. Thanks also to the speakers at this year’s event, and particularly to those taking the time to attend – I look forward to welcoming you in Hamburg.

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