Energy efficiency is impacted by choices made throughout a vessel’s lifecycle

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

15 July 2016


Investments in energy efficiency improvements offer cruise and ferry and merchant vessel operators an opportunity to reduce operating costs and emissions while building a more sustainable brand image says Wärtsilä. The overall energy efficiency of a vessel is determined by the choices made throughout its lifecycle from new build to scrapping and recycling. In the current market situation, investing in more energy efficient solutions is a good way to improve long-term competitiveness. Cruise shipping is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism, with China offering big opportunities for growth. At the same time, the merchant shipping market is declining due to the economic downturn, despite the fluctuating crude oil prices. Moreover, industry forerunners are focused on improving safety and energy efficiency and on minimising their impact on the environment, which is an increasingly important factor for a growing number of cruise shipping customers. Tightening maritime regulation is creating pressure for enhanced energy efficiency for both existing and new fleet, as well. An operator wishing to optimise its fleet’s energy efficiency should apply a holistic strategy by implementing comprehensive lifecycle solutions that take into consideration the vessel’s entire journey from business planning to scrapping and recycling. Major improvements can also be achieved through assessing a specific area and applying a customised solution to it. Such solutions can be hull, propulsion and engine maintenance, machinery upgrades, or electrical and automation upgrades. “The development of new ship design is constantly moving forward. Upgrading the existing fleet and optimising its operations as well as maintenance, propulsion and machinery are also areas in which energy efficiency can be improved. For example, continuous performance monitoring can lead to substantial savings in energy consumption while optimised and smart maintenance planning makes maintenance costs more predictable,” says Tomas Hakala, Vice President, 4-stroke Engine Services, Wärtsilä Services. The use of data and analytics are providing enormous opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, too. “Digital technologies make it possible for service providers to collect and analyse data from an installation and remotely monitor its performance. The technical knowledge of maintenance service providers is becoming critical to supplement the ship crew’s competences,” says Maarten van der Klip, General Manager, Project Sales & Development, Wärtsilä Services. In 2015, Wärtsilä launched Wärtsilä Genius services, which use the benefits of real-time data and data analytics to improve the efficiency and predictability of operations. Wärtsilä Genius services can be used, for example, to optimise an installation’s energy efficiency, or even the management of an entire fleet. Earlier this year, Wärtsilä introduced the Wärtsilä Lifecycle solutions offering, which also covers Wärtsilä Genius services. Wärtsilä Lifecycle solutions consist of three concepts that combine digital innovations and advanced data analytics with a holistic approach. As an example, Guaranteed asset performance is a ground-breaking concept that provides guaranteed operational reliability, performance and uptime. This means that performance targets, for example related to energy efficiency, are determined based on measured data, and Wärtsilä can guarantee that these targets are reached and maintained.