When it comes to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, it is increasingly clear that collective, coordinated, and global action is not only beneficial; it is essential, writes Andreas Glud, Group Segment Manager, Marine, Dry Dock, Hempel A/S. The threat of climate change is so dangerous precisely because its impacts are so broad and the contributing factors, in many instances, difficult to detect, measure and control. However, climate change is an existential threat which will impact on every nation, every business and every individual in many ways.
The driving force for responding to the challenge of climate change currently is the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ‘Initial Strategy on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships’, or ‘Initial Strategy’. This outlines for the maritime industry — and suppliers of marine fuels — the “levels of ambition” set for vessel emissions in order to reduce emissions in line with the United Nation’s Paris Climate Agreement.
These levels of ambition set a minimum target of reducing carbon (CO2) emissions from ships by 50% by 2050 against the IMO’s 2008 baselines, with a view to phasing out GHG emissions entirely — creating a zero-emission maritime industry. This is an extremely difficult, albeit necessary, goal. Unfortunately, as it stands now, there is no viable, scalable fuelling solution currently in existence. Achieving the 2050 target alone requires a reduction of emissions of 40% by 2030; which means zero emissions ships must be in service by 2030.
This is why Hempel, the worldwide coatings manufacturer, has joined the Getting to Zero Coalition.
The Coalition is a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum. It brings together stakeholders from the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors (supported by key governments and IGOs), with the main objective of introducing commercially viable deep-sea zero-emissions vessels by 2030.
With the Coalition, there is now a co-ordinated effort to see commercially viable zero emissions vessels operating along deep-sea trade routes by 2030, and importantly, with cross-industry support, there is the momentum required to affect real change. Hempel is the only coatings manufacturer currently working with the Coalition.
To achieve the decarbonization goal, four areas of exploration have been identified by the Coalition: fuels, ships, market drivers and policies. The agreed timescale for delivery allows for solution development until 2023, followed by a test period until 2027, with preparations for roll-out occurring between 2028 and 2030.
The work of the Coalition is being supported by knowledge partners such as UCL Energy Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and the Energy Transitions Commission. Importantly, it is aligned with and involves Poseidon Principles — a global framework for climate-aligned ship financing — launched on 18 June 2019. This is critical, as the financing of energy efficient shipping solutions is a deciding factor for making the zero emissions future a reality.
While the Coalition is focused on the ultimate goal of developing zero emissions vessels and supporting infrastructure, the responsibility for lowering emissions currently primarily lies with ship owners, operators and managers. It is incumbent upon every player to contribute toward a cumulative emissions reduction effort. As many savvy shipowners know, achieving tangible efficiency savings requires a combination of design improvements and operational changes. Applying a hull coating that reduces fuel usage is a common strategy that has proven returns.
To help shipowners and operators meet and measure emissions reductions against new efficiency and environmental targets, we need to understand the performance of the ship’s hull. Hard data and analysis play an important role here. This is why Hempel offers a more holistic approach to its customers and has its own hull performance system SHAPE (Systems for Hull and Propeller Efficiency).
SHAPE is founded on the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) 19030 framework. SHAPE combines elements of hull and propeller efficiency optimisation to maximise the quality of performance data analysis. The system uses in-service performance KPIs to track long term trends that generate important data for fact-based decisions. This offers a whole new level of fuel efficiency intelligence. Using the performance data, Hempel can then provide customers with tailored solutions, enabling every ship operator to maximise their hull efficiency and calculate return on investment.
Utilising data intelligence and applying tried-and-tested methods for improving vessel efficiency and performance, which can be measured, calculated and controlled provides proof of efforts made by shipping companies to reduce their emissions. This intelligence is crucial to understanding how the industry is delivering on its responsibilities, while enhancing their own operations.
As the maritime and energy industries work on developing future fuelling solutions that will eliminate carbon emissions and shape the world of shipping for generations to come, investing in technologies that enhance performance and reduce fuel requirements is a significant step in the right direction. As we are all learning, responding to existential threats that impact every aspect of life in the way that climate change inevitably will if we carry on as we are now, requires a coordinated effort, drastic changes, and for everyone to do their bit for the greater good.