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Maersk Tanker

Wind Propulsion Technology Could Reduce Shipping Fuel Costs 10%

Maersk TankerIn a project that could help major corporations reducing shipping fuel costs and emissions, Shell, Maersk Tankers, Norsepower and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) are collaborating to test wind-powered technology on a product tanker vessel.

The project, which will begin in 2018, will be the first installation of wind propulsion technology on a product tanker vessel, the companies say. The technology will undergo testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019.

Maersk Tankers will supply a 109,647-deadweight tonne (DWT) Long Range 2 product tanker vessel, which will be retrofitted with two, 30-meter-tall by 5-meter-diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails. Combined, these are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7 percent to 10 percent, the companies say.

High-efficiency, low-carbon vessels can save millions of dollars in fuel costs, according to an earlier study by UCL Energy Institute and Carbon War Room.

The UK’s Energy Technologies Institute is funding the majority of the project. Maersk and Norsepower are also contributing funding. Shell will act as the project coordinator.

The shipping industry, like aviation, doesn’t have its own carbon reduction targets under the Paris climate deal.

And while it is far more carbon-efficient than road or air transport — shipping makes up around 2.4 percent of global CO2 emissions compared to 16.8 percent from road transportation — the UN’s International Maritime Organization projects CO2 emissions from vessels will rise between 50 percent and 250 percent by 2050 in its “business as usual” case.

In other efforts to reduce shipping fuel costs and associated emissions, in 2015 five global companies via the BICEPS Network launched a rating system to help shippers choose more sustainable ocean freight carriers.

The BICEPS Network — it stands for Boosting Initiatives for Collaborative Emission-reduction with the Power of Shippers — is a joint initiative of AB InBev, AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina and Huntsman.

The five companies committed to use the new BICEPS Rating System in their global procurement processes of ocean freight container carriers. The Rating System ranks the carriers from A to F based on their scores from a questionnaire that covers performance in five areas including emission scores and targets.


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