With the recent trend of increased fuel prices and the introduction of strict environmental measures, and with even tougher legislation due in the near future, many ship owners have begun to show interest in improving the efficiency of the power systems aboard their ships.
While the rising fuel prices have negatively affected most supply chains through fuel surcharges or increased operating costs, there is still opportunity for larger companies – dealing directly with shipowners and brokers – and for businesses that depend on shipping for their trade to exploit the supply chain efficiencies latent in the maritime sector. As such, there is no doubt but that shipping will retain its importance in the future as the only efficient way of transporting most goods.
Recent news reports have covered how Hapag-Lloyd, one of the world’s largest container shipping lines, became the first shipping company globally to have its fleet certified in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
Other news has included well-known industry names, such as the Port of Los Angeles, Maersk line, Teekay, ABB, Heidmar, Hanseatic Tankers, Starbulk and Wartsila that have taken things a step further and joined the Carbon War Room initiative, which has published the energy efficiency ratings of over 50,000 vessels online. Simultaneously, major companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike and Wal-Mart have created a container-specific index called the Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) index. Currently accessible by ship owners and shippers alone, it nonetheless represents a move in the right direction in terms of environmental consideration.
While a modern, two-stroke diesel engine has one of the highest thermal efficiencies of today’s power systems, even this can be improved by integrating the diesel engine with other power systems.
To this end, MAN Diesel & Turbo offers highly efficient steam and gas turbines as part of its innovative Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) system portfolio. The company is a package supplier that can integrate a WHR system – including economisers, steam/power turbine generator and condensing unit – into a vessel and guarantee the performance of the complete WHR system cycle. It can also deliver a package that includes the shaft generator/motor system, which provides substantial flexibility for a complete WHR cycle.
MAN Diesel & Turbo has clearly seen the possibilities offered by waste heat recovery, which generates power from energy that otherwise would be lost to the atmosphere. The WHR principle has been common knowledge for decades but was not widely exploited within the marine segment until recently. Today, environmental factors such as concern over carbon footprints, as well as general improvements to vessel efficiency, have aroused major interest among shipping companies in general. As such, MAN Diesel & Turbo has the knowledge and know-how to push shipping efficiency to the next level.
MAN Diesel & Turbo’s WHR systems consist of high quality and highly efficient machinery that significantly increases overall vessel efficiency, all in close cooperation with yards, designers and owners. The systems are also an effective way to reduce the EEDI index.
In today’s market, low-load operation of main engines has become the norm, one which seems destined to prevail for years to come. While low-load operation can potentially extend payback times, MAN Diesel & Turbo projects specific calculations for interested customers and frequently engages owners in direct dialogue regarding the operational profile of their vessel. The ultimate aim is to find the optimum specification and utilisation profile for installing WHR equipment.