GREN4SEA: How has ABS been evolved over the last years with respect to energy & fuel efficiency? What solutions does ABS provide?

Jan de Kat: During the last 5 years, ABS has concentrated on developing services to support shipowners and yards in the area of energy & fuel efficiency in relation to design and operation. At the same time, ABS supports the regulatory process when it comes to development and implementation of GHG emission regulations: IMO - EEDI verification, SEEMP, DCS, ISO 15016 procedures; EU MRV. Also, regarding EEDI verification, ABS builds up team with hydrodynamics and model testing experience.

We offer services to assist with hydrodynamic evaluation and optimization in relation to hull resistance and propulsion, including ESD’s, rudder and machinery systems. CFD tools play a crucial role when it comes to minimizing fuel consumption. In addition, we offer services to assist with vessel performance monitoring and analysis: platform for data collection and reporting (noon reports and autologged data). We focus on providing practical data interpretation ( hull and propeller performance, main engine, auxiliary machinery efficiency analysis) and help owners coping with information overflow in an effective way


G4S: When it comes to tackling the environmental challenges around the shipping sector, what are the core priorities on your agenda?

J.K.: The main priorities are:

  • GHG emissions: CO2 reduction
  • SOx emissions: effective ways to deal with global sulfur cap
  • NOx: ditto for dealing with Tier III compliance, newbuilds
  • Ballast water and biofouling


G4S: What was the biggest energy efficiency improvement in shipping over the course of the last 10 years?

J.K.:  We could not acknowledge only a single measure, but a few of key items as follows:

i) Design for operational profile (multiple operational speeds and drafts) instead of single design point.

ii) Lowering of maximum speed for new designs, especially container ships, in combination with larger diameter, more efficient propellers

iii) Efficiency of prime movers has improved to a certain extent

iv)  Slow steaming of existing fleet – big impact on reducing CO2 emissions


G4S: Do you think that the industry is ready for the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap? What may be the biggest challenges to prepare?

J.K.:  Many shipowners are evaluating the various fuel and technology options to determine which solution mix would best fit their operations for existing and new ships:

i)  Shift to low sulfur, compliant fuel inside and outside ECA

ii)  Fit scrubbers, run on HFO outside/inside ECA

iii)  LNG as a fuel

Some of the major challenges:

i)  Unknown price levels of HFO, MGO, 0.5% S fuel, LNG

ii) Availability of fuels, bunkering locations

iii)   Lack of experience with 0.5% S compliant fuel

(1)   No ISO specs

(2)   Unknown issues with blended fuel properties (cat fines, compatibility, etc)

vi) High CAPEX associated with LNG and scrubber installations

v)  Level playing field when it comes to regulatory control and enforcement


G4S: Do you anticipate the 2020 SOx ban in conjunction with NOx & GHG measures to boost the quest for alternative fuels? Which fuel option do you expect to prevail in the market in the long term and why?

J.K.:  Yes, it will have a major impact. For the next few decades LNG will become more prevalent as a fuel for ships in view of SOx and NOx emissions, but even though it is a lot cleaner fuel than conventional fuel oil, LNG will not lead to major reductions in CO2 when viewed from a well-to-wake perspective.  Hence it is not the final solution in a decarbonized world.  By 2050 the shipping industry should have reduced its overall CO2 emissions significantly as part of global efforts to reduce GHG effects. We will see more wind assisted propulsion systems appear on the market for larger vessels.  Ditto for solar power, but likely solar will be used for auxiliary power generation in view of the limited energy density per square meter.  When it comes to carbon free ship propulsion, we could foresee some of the following: hydrogen (if a way can be found to produce it efficiently using e.g. wind power), electrical (e.g.  batteries charged by wind, hydro or solar power), sustainably derived biofuels.


The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  GREEN4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.

GREEN4SEA Team met Dr.  Kat at Norshipping, Norway for an exclusive interview regarding key fuel challenges. View his video herebelow