Time period: 2012-2013

Members involved: BP Shipping, Bunge, Cargill, Gearbulk, Forum for the Future, Lloyd’s Register, Namura, Rio Tinto, U-Ming, Wärtsilä

The global shipping industry needs to achieve a step change in the way it harnesses energy as part of its action on climate change. If the industry were to double in size by 2040 while playing its part in delivering global emissions cuts by 50%, it would need to cut its own emissions per tonne km by 75%. To achieve this, incremental improvement will not be sufficient.

However, it remains difficult for step-change technologies to make the leap from the drawing board onto the water, and to build business cases that will enable the mass uptake of combined voyage optimisation techniques. There is a limited appetite for risk in the shipping industry, making it difficult to demonstrate the benefit that new technologies can deliver at full scale.

The SSI explored how to overcome barriers to the uptake of new technologies and innovative techniques which improve the operational efficiency of ships, potentially delivering energy efficiency savings of 10% of more and payback periods of less than 5 years.

To enable the widespread uptake of step-change technologies and operational techniques that will contribute to the reduction of ship energy consumption and dramatically cut GHG emissions.

The work group collaborated with key suppliers of new technologies available in the industry and evaluated the potential of these technologies to deliver energy efficiency savings.

Research and analysis were conducted on cost-benefit analysis, risks and applicability. These technologies, mainly wind-assisted propulsion and hull/lubrication innovations were selected because of their potential to deliver double-digit savings, while being unproven at full scale.

Members shared data on the implementation of measures such as slow steaming, weather routing and virtual arrival, along with the savings achieved and barriers to implementation.

This resulted in five case studies examining in-depth the specific opportunities presented by the innovations, together with more general lessons on how we can accelerate the uptake of new technologies ‘on the water’.