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Friday, May 14, 2021 

Azurtane, a UK-based company specialising in monitoring and reducing harmful emissions, points out that although IMO's EEDX proposals are planned to enter into force on 1st January 2023, any serious reduction in CO2 emissions may still be way over the horizon.

Detailed studies by Azurtane have concluded that every ocean-going vessel is wasting from 2% to over 5% of its annual fuel consumption. Putting this into context, International shipping’s contribution to immediately reducing CO2 emissions could be as much as 40m t/yr.

Azurtane MD Don Gregory said: “Today most ships are sailing blind. Ships typically measure and report fuel consumption on a daily basis”.

The so called noon day report has little detailed information on the intervening 24-hour period or the conditions the vessel encountered and the minute-by-minute carbon emissions. In terms of management of cost, greater granularity of operational data and application of scientifically calculated solutions is required in real time to enable both fuel savings and reduction in CO2 otherwise ships will continue to operate inefficiently burning fuel, contaminating the atmosphere and soaking up huge amounts of cash.

There are many opportunities to optimise fuel consumption. Trim and draught are frequently promoted as achieving over 10% dependent upon vessel type. However, the many suppliers of trim management systems are unable to verify the claimed savings as they simply rely upon the noon reports to calculate fuel consumption savings. Azurtane claims to be different, with on-line monitoring of fuel consumption and distance travelled over the ground, the system has a second-by-second account of the ship’s performance. Tracking in real time enables the ship’s officers to witness fuel used in grams/second and metres travelled.

This adds validity to routing in order to benefit from effects of ocean currents. With a following current the 24 hours distance travelled over the ground will be greater. But maximising 'current assist' is only possible if course variations are implemented in real time. Azurtane has records of identical voyages in which a 30 naut mile difference in track resulted in an associated US$1,500 additional fuel cost and 7t of excess carbon emissions.

Gregory added: “It is not simplistic demands that all ships should reduce speed or reduce installed power. It is founded on the hydrodynamics of ship propulsion.”

Understanding and optimising the true costs of operating vessels is the best way to managing the fuel asset on board ship and by extension reduce the costly CO2 emissions.

Azurtane technology is said to measure both fuel use and transport work. Although the principle is similar to IMO’s formulae, Azurtane monitors the operational reality rather than theoretical data.

Gregory says that: "Today the marine media abounds with claims of initiatives to reduce carbon. The reality is they are often just claims, whereas Azurtane provides the instant opportunity to avoid wasting fuel and emitting unnecessary carbon today."

Azurtane summarises its technology thus:

  • vessel positioning
  • accurate and certified efficiency control through precise fuel measurement and vessel position
  • speed/power optimisation
  • low-cost plug and play hardware with simple installation
  • cost-effective compliance with EU ETS regulations

The company suggests that in virtually all cases the cost of the service is less than the value of the fuel saving, allowing EEXI ambitions to be achieved immediately.

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