The R & D projects of ClassNK for reducing running cost of ships will offset the burden that would be cast on ship owners by the unsavory new conventions set to come into force
It is not just the financial crisis and the soaring prices of bunkers that affect shipping. What are even worse are the new conventions set to come into force which will certainly not offer any salubrious climate for shipping but could push companies into the red unless prolific and cost conscious measures are factored in. Thus, the Ballast Water Management, Green House Gases Reduction and the Amendments to MARPOL viz. mandatory requirement for Energy Efficiency Design Index will lay immense burden on the ship owners.
To help ship owners offset the unfavorable effect of these conventions, ClassNK, besides its service to the shipping trade as a classification society and other activities it has been ceaselessly striving to find solutions for cutting down cost for running of ships. It has made phenomenal investment in research and development having sunk in US $ 40 million already for undertaking 19 projects. ClassNK has committed $ 28 million in Japan for 22 projects and the remaining $ 12 million is being spent in research and development outside Japan.
“This means that ClassNK is working to improving the efficiency on what we already have. The government of Japan has targeted in achieving 30 per cent reduction of GHG emissions” says S. Sampath, General Manager (Survey) of ClassNK Mumbai Office. “It has 22 projects underway with each one having established reduction from 3% to 15%. Combining all these designs and systems in the new building it is possible to achieve a total of nearly 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. This total reduction may definitely add up to at least 20 per cent reduction, if not the targeted 30 per cent, due to overlap effects of the combination of the different systems and technologies.
“What this would mean is that it will be possible to achieve a huge saving in fuel consumption for the ship owners at the same time comply with the requirements of the convention. Some of these designs could also be incorporated in the existing ships which have been built prior to 2013 when the conventions come into force.”
Some of the major research projects underway that promise to bring in reduction in fuel consumption are Minimal Ballast Water Ship, Optimum Hull Form for Ships Adopting Contra-Rotating Propeller, Optimum Bow Design in Waves for Container Carriers, Micro Bubble Lubrication, Extremely low resistant hull coating, Non Hub-vortex Propeller with Minimal Blade Area, Propeller Attachment to improve Thrust Efficiency, Optimum Hybrid Power Management system using shaft driven generator and controllable pitch propeller, Optimum Combustion in Large-size Low-Speed Diesel Engines, High Efficiency Heat Recovery System for Small size Diesel Engines, Small Size Dual Fuel Diesel Engine, Hybrid Turbo Chargers for Marine Use, Lithium Battery and Solar Panels Hybrid Power System, Gigacell Battery and Solar Panel Hybrid Power system and yet to come off the board is the Next Generation Sail Assisted Cargo Ships.
A paradigm shift in shipping appears to be underway. Many classification societies, ship builders, naval architects and others are also working round the clock to come up with innovations that not only make shipping more secure, safe and efficient on clean ocean, but also cut cost substantially. The sum total of all these efforts will certainly see shipping on a higher growth trajectory.