The event was organized by SAFETY4SEA and was sponsored by MacGregor and SQEMARINE (lead sponsors) and RightShip (carbon offset sponsor). Other sponsors were: ABS, Alfa Laval, Andritz, Anemoi Marine Technologies, Aquametro Oil & Marine GmbH, Arcadia Shipmanagement Co Ltd, ARGO NAVIS Marine Consulting and Engineering, Blue Planet Shipping Ltd (BPS), Capital Shipmanagement, CHANDRIS HELLAS INC., ClassNK, COSTAMARE Shipping Company S.A., DNVGL, Dorian LPG, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited (EASTMED), Flow Water Technologies Ltd, GE Marine Solutions, JOTUN, MAN Energy Solutions, Latsco Marine Management Inc, MINERVA MARINE Inc., Neptune Lines, Orpheus Marine Transport Corporation (OMTC), Primarine GmbH, TSAKOS Group of Companies, UK P&I Club, V.Ships, Wärtsilä and WLPGA (World LPG Association). The event was also supported by the following organizations: Green Award Foundation, INMARSEP, IWSA, NAMEPA, SNAME and Yacht Club of Greece.

Similar to all SAFETY4SEA Events, this was a non-profit event, attracting attendance from Safety, Technical and/or Marine departments of shipping operators and other related industry stakeholders. The conference brought together global experts who focused on the recent and future green shipping challenges and shared their views on how to comply with the strict environmental requirements on the horizon. Alternatives options for compliance towards 2020 were presented as well, and a panel dedicated to LPG as a marine fuel discussed about the benefits that this alternative fuel can offer toward decarbonisation. Ship operators who have opted for scrubber technology referred to installation and operational challenges and BWTS Makers provided feedback from the implementation of the BWM Convention until today. Presentations were given in six panels as follows:

2019 GREEN4SEA Conference

Panel No. 1 – Navigating Beyond 2020: The big picture 

Mr. Apostolos Belokas, Managing Editor, SAFETY4SEA, opened the conference exploring key challenges and opportunities for shipping not only post 2020, but up to 2050 as well, noting that the 2020/2050 goals are not aligned. In the last year alone, Mr. Belokas mentioned, the industry has seen major regulatory developments, which have created too many uncertainties for the sector to digest, but 2019 will probably be ‘a year to remember’.

Mr. Bill Stamatopoulos, Business Development Manager South Europe, VeriFuel, focused on the challenges surrounding 2020 compliant fuels. Fuel suppliers will undergo a learning curve in fine tuning their VLSFO and Distillates production, he said, and ship crew and operators will need to be well prepared for the wide variety of fuels which will be available in the market, in order to be compliant. Although a challenging task, the industry will have to adapt to the new environment via training, knowledge sharing and in close cooperation with their fuel management partner, he stressed.

Mr. Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director, Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management, examined if the IMO GHG goals are achievable with today’s “toolbox”. Firstly, he showed that speed limits will be ineffective at reducing CO2 emissions while causing trade disruption, but speed optimization is more promising. Alternative fuels are also mostly ineffective, since most currently originate from natural gas which has a very high lifetime methane leak to the air. Biofuel and Biogas and renewable energy show some promise but with several issues to resolve.  Mr. Zachariadis concluded we need new technology and a reconsideration of nuclear power.

In his presentation ‘Retrofit Bottleneck Odyssey’, Mr. Andreas Zontanos, Partner, Argo Navis, outlined the factors that led up to an industry bottleneck through irrevocable regulation deadlines and collective Ballast Water Treatment System and Exhaust Gas Cleaning System retrofits. He also gave anonymous yet insider information on the retrofit strategies of four major owners. The presentation aimed to inform market stakeholders about strategic mistakes that may jeopardize service quality, vessel compliance and ultimately Owner/Operator development.


Panel No. 2 – Fuel Alternatives post 2020

 Dr. John Kokarakis, Chairman, Greek Section, SNAME, shared his views on the future post-2020. The future economy most likely will be multi-fuel with synthetic, biofuels, ammonia, hydrogen, being produced and utilized in carbon-neutral or carbon negative mode, he said. LNG, due to its abundance and clean combustion, will play a bridge role. Alternative forms of propulsion with or without renewable sources of energy will be utilized heralding the return of the sails and the utilization of sun. Clean-safe nuclear energy is also part of the future.

Mr. Paul Flaherty, Director, Fleet & Technical Operations, Navigator Gas, described the process of converting Navigator Aurora to a dual fuel (HFO/Ethane) engine, for which the company received the 2019 GREEN4SEA Tanker Operator Award, the evening ahead of the conference. As explained, Navigator Gas vessels are fitted with LNG and Ethane fuelled main engines to meet the 2020 sulphur regulations. Overall, Navigator Gas commits to many green initiatives and strives to be early adopters of new technologies, to get ahead of the compliance curve.

Mr. Kjell Ove Ulstein, Product Line Manager, LPG & LNG Cargo Systems, Wärtsilä Gas Solutions, provided an overview of LPG & LNG Cargo Systems, emphasizing on the advantages of LPG as a marine fuel. Among these, he emphasized on the facilitation of storage, reduction in CO2 and Sox emissions, as well as the reliable availability worldwide.  Presenting Wartsila’s LPG Fuel Supply System, he also focused on installation options and fuel tank operations.

Mr. Gavin Allwright, Secretary General, IWSA, provided an overview of wind assisted marine projects and explained the reasons for opting for wind propulsion. Among many benefits, as a primary renewable source, wind propulsion delivers significant savings directly at the point of use, he said, while also facilitates secondary renewables. Currently, the industry is starting to witness more wind propulsion installations, Mr Allwright said referring to recent installations and projects in the pipeline. In this regard, the International WindShip Association plays an important role, he explained, in order shipping to realize that wind propulsion is a realistic choice for a more sustainable future.


Panel No. 3 – Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems 

Mrs. Charis Plakantonaki, Chief Strategy Officer, Star Bulk, explained why her company has chosen to use scrubbers for compliance with the upcoming regulations and talked about the challenges of the installation process so far. Mrs. Plakantonaki highlighted that the use of scrubbers will allow Star Bulk vessels to continue to burn HFO, which is expected to be more economical compared to compliant fuel; nonetheless, the use of scrubber technology requires commitment of resources and hard work.

Mr. Ralf Jürgens, SVP Engineering, Primarine, explained why scrubbers are more than an alternative bridge technology, noting that, with regards to the discourse on open loop ban, this was the first time in history that industry extenuated a legislation which is not even in force. What is more, the open loop ban confuses the shipping industry, jeopardizing the investment of the scrubber industry and of ship-owners. At this point, it is important to gain experience during the next couple years and let the srubber industry develop enhance or new technologies, he concluded.

Mr. Christopher Fee, General Manager - Environment and Sustainability, Oldendorff Carriers presented experience feedback from the use of scrubbers so far, to debunk the myth that these systems harm the environment. As explained, many reputable studies support the use of scrubbers, showing no evidence of affecting marine life and water quality negatively. He highlighted that vessels running on HFSO with a scrubber generate cleaner air emissions than running on LSFO or MGO, referring also to Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 which aims to promote the use of scrubbers as the most viable option for compliance with Sulphur cap.

With the Sulphur cap on the horizon, Mr. John N. Cotzias, Projects & Finance, Xclusiv Shipbrokers, noted that, what should be a fuel problem has actually become a ship/shipowners problem. Namely, industry stakeholders, instead of imposing to refineries to produce the required fuel in a conformed ISO8217 standard and in adequate quantities, they impose the burden on shipowners to modify their ship. The road toward compliance is still full of unknowns and there is no silver bullet; each company has a solution that suits to its specific profile. What we will see in the future, and this will be dictated by necessity rather than pure choice, he concluded.


Panel No. 4 – LPG as a Marine Fuel

In their presentation, Mr. John Lycouris, CEO, Dorian LPG & Mr. Stavros Niotis, Principal Engineer, Global Gas Solutions, ABS, gave an insight on the results of a joint techno-economic study, looking in the option of using LPG cargo as a fuel onboard existing LPG carriers and comparing it with other available solutions. Low flash point hydrocarbons, other than Methane, like Propane and Ethane can now be burned in main propulsion engines and provide a competitive solution for complying with air emissions regulations. The presentation explained the regulatory framework and provided the results from the Life Cycle Cost Analysis performed.

Mr. Rene Sejer Laursen, Project manager, MAN Energy Solutions, described the ME-LGIP engine development for an engine using LPG as fuel. Tests have confirmed that the fuel injection equipment, the LPG fuel booster injection valve is working satisfactorily. The performance tests have also been completed, they show that the combustion stability of the engine is acceptable. It has been found that the LPG combustion is similar to that of other types of gas fuel, and finally we have found that we can achieve a higher engine efficiency with LPG compared to MDO.

Mr. Byeong- Yeol Baek, Advanced Lead Engineer, Customer Application Engineering, GE Aviation, made an introduction to Combined Gas turbine Electric and Steam (COGES) systems for propulsion and power, highlighting that these offer fuel flexible operating on LNG, LPG or liquid fuel, offering on-condition maintenance for longer time between repairs. He also supported that LPG as a fuel offers many environmental benefits, noting that US developed shale resources have nearly doubled LPG production in the last 10 years.

Mr. Kostas Vlachos, COO, Latsco Marine Management, presented why LPG as a fuel should be considered as a viable option in a strategy toward decarbonization. Firstly, Mr. Vlachos presented the benefits that LPG can offer as a fuel. Among many, Mr. Vlachos said, that using LPG as a primary fuel equals to a EEDI of up to 13% or up to 20% higher engine power with retained EEDI. Then, he concluded his presentation outlining key challenges and safety considerations of this fuel which is considered to be an ‘extremely flammable gas’. In this regard, Mr. Vlachos highlighted that proper mitigating measures are required to ensure all risk are as low as reasonably possible.


Panel No. 5 – Green Best Practices and Experience Transfer

 Mr. Tom H. Evensen, Sales Director for Jotun’s Hull Performance Solutions and Mr. Manolis Levantis, Analyst Manager, focused on hull performance which has a major impact on a vessel’s efficiency. In a step-by-step manner, the presentation took the audience through the available measures one can exploit to maximize hull efficiency, as seen from a coating manufacturer’s perspective. The speakers also touched upon the impact of fouling as well approaches, including digital services which could significantly reduce the likelihood of fouling.

Mr. David Nichol, Senior Loss Prevention Executive, UK Club, provided a brief overview of old and new challenges surrounding biofouling and what is in store for the future. Some invasive species have proven very destructive to native aquatic organisms as well causing serious damage to property and marine resources. Biofouling as a vector for the transfer of aquatic invasive is developing a higher profile with both legislators and the shipping community.

Dr. Ing. Ralf Moeck, Technical Director, Aquametro Oil & Marine GmbH, focused on fuel treatment and SOx-emission control, as a new process for safe, efficient and environmental friendly ship operations. He also presented the challenges surrounding fuel management and respective technical solutions. Based on a principle of “Green Shipping”, Aquametro supports with Fuel Management and Fuel Monitoring as well as Fuel Treatment a range of legal agreements and voluntary initiatives, which contribute to reducing emissions.

Mr. Nick Contopoulos, Director, ANEMOI, talked about the introduction of world’s first bulk carrier installed with a Flettner Rotor system in January 2018, proving that this fuel and emission reduction technology can be viable for commercial shipping. Mr. Contopoulos namely presented a case study detailing the challenges, the equipment and the Big Data application of their system, as well as Anemoi’s approach to profiling and identifying early adopters that will yield the greatest benefits from installing this technology


Panel No. 6 – BWTS Makers Panel

Opening the ballast panel, Mr. Håkan Persson, Manager Business Development and Marketing, Alfa Laval, shared his lessons learned from 15 years of BWM experiences. Providing statistics from ballast water in numbers for the world’s fleet, he provided an overview of high power consumption as a measure of biological performance and highlighted the need of balance between price and value when retrofitting a BWTS.

On his turn, Mr. Mark Hadfield, CEO, Flowwater Technologies, emphasized on how a BWMS can claim pay back to an owner. Ballast Water Management Convention is something owners and operators have not a choice about anymore, he stressed, but they do get to choose how to address it.

Mr. Lars Bo Kirkegaard, General Manager, BWMS Sales, Wärtsilä, started his presentation with a brief summary of ballast regulations and moved on by describing in detail the project timelines for BWMS retrofits. He also explained the different procedures surrounding BWM treatment using Ultra-Violet light (UV) and treatment using electro-chlorination.


All sessions ended with a round table discussion in which the audience exchanged ideas with high level experts of international repute on technological developments. Finally, Apostolos Belokas as the Forum Chairman thanked the delegates for their participation, the sponsors for their support and the speakers for their excellent presentations and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives.  Explore more about the event at