DeepSea CEO and co-founder, Roberto Coustas, joined market leaders from Carnival Corporation, DNV, Maersk Tankers, Maran Gas Maritime, Seanergy and Shell for the panel ‘Energy Efficient Technologies – Improving Fleet Performance’ during Capital Link’s Decarbonisation in Shipping Forum.
The discussion began by diving into the “grand challenge of our time” which is decarbonisation. While low-carbon fuels will be an important part of the solution to the carbon emissions challenge, energy efficiency technologies and real-time performance monitoring will be key for shipowners and charterers aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of their fleets in the short term, and their fuel bill in the long term.
Roberto and fellow panelists were asked which of today’s solutions are making the largest contribution to reducing fleet emissions. To answer this question, Roberto stated that it is important to recognise that every vessel is unique and that there is no single recipe that will work across all. Investments in energy efficient technology need to be considered on a case-by-case basis, because an inaccurate investment can even deteriorate vessel performance instead of improving it.
For example, a technology that works in certain route-defined environments could actually hinder performance when applied outside of those particular parameters. As Roberto pointed out, “first, shipowners and charterers need to use data to really understand the current behaviour of a vessel. Only then can they choose the efficiency enhancement solutions that are right for each vessel.”
The core takeaway from the panel was that data is key to meeting the demand for a decarbonised fleet. However, it is not only about collecting the data; there also needs to be a way for owners and charterers to make this data actionable.
This is where Artificial Intelligence technology can act as a powerful tool to capture the complexity of vessel behaviour under many different conditions and turn data into insights that can inform decisions. As Roberto explained, “with data-led information, shipowners and charterers will know exactly how much fuel their vessels will need for any given voyage before embarking, and they can use that information to optimise the route and speed for any given vessel.”
At DeepSea, we have seen this with Seanergy. By collecting and utilising real-time data, our products have secured a 10% decrease in fuel consumption just by ensuring a better route, speed and trim combination – with no other investment needed. Roberto concluded that any other technology that claims these results requires dry-docking, which makes economic sense primarily for newbuilding vessels.
With regards to the challenges of adopting energy efficient technologies, it was suggested that the split incentives – essentially, different interests – are often a barrier to these technologies due to the fact that ship owners are responsible for the CapEx while charterers benefit from fuel savings. Roberto said that “we see the split incentive as a very real barrier to digitalisation and decarbonisation. There is no clear value proposition for the owners to become more efficient at the moment.” The Sea Cargo Charter, RightShip’s A-G Rating and Poseidon Principles are great steps in the right direction. But more work is needed, and at DeepSea we believe that a grading system created by both owners and charterers to align their incentives could hold the key.”
“We cannot simply wait for the IMO to address this through regulation. We need a framework now that enables change to happen rapidly and organically.”
Overall, the panel presented many important opinions around the challenges facing emerging energy efficient technologies and the solutions that are already making a difference to fleets today. Despite the diverse background of the panelists, who represented different parts of the shipping community, the panel proved that collaboration is the key to evolve into a leaner, greener and better-connected industry. It is conversations like these across the industry that inspire hope that a decarbonised future is not as far off as we may think.
Contact us to learn more about DeepSea’s portfolio of vessel performance monitoring tools – such as Cassandra Light – that deliver value, increase savings and push your fleet in the right direction towards decarbonisation.