As explained, the Vessel Technology Assessment System (VTAS) project will develop a practical approach to predict the benefit of a range of carbon abatement/fuel efficiency technologies on marine vessels over real-world usage cycles.

The efficient use of fuel through the implementation of energy saving devices (ESDs) will be critical to the future affordability, security and sustainability of maritime transport, in view of IMO predictions that emissions could rise by 50 - 250% by 2050 compared to 2011 levels, explained David Butler, project manager for HDV marine efficiency at the ETI.

The project is being led by BMT Group, an engineering, science and technology consultancy operating mainly in the maritime industries, in partnership with Black & Veatch the leading engineering, consulting and construction company.

“There is a choice of ESDs within the commercial shipping market such as flettner rotors, high efficiency propellers and wingsail technologies and yet, the uptake to date has been somewhat slow, due to the perceived technical and financial risks of implementing these technologies. Through improved ship-based modelling, assessments and data validation, this project will allow us to explore the options and provide independent evidence that stakeholders can trust to make an informed decision,” explains John Buckingham of BMT.

“We hope that this project will help to tackle the market barriers that currently exist which limit the uptake of cost-effective fuel efficiency technologies. Combing this project with our current £10m portfolio of demonstrations in the areas of flettner rotor sails, high efficiency propulsion systems and new waste heat recovery technology, will help us reach our target of a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency for marine vessels,” adds Mr. Butler.