Propulsion & Future Fuels 2018: Addressing the real issues

15 Nov 2018

The 2018 conference opens, and discussions focus on emissions challenges and strategies for the upcoming deadline.

The Motorship Propulsion & Future Fuels 2018 conference opened yesterday with wide-ranging discussion of fuels and propulsion technologies. Highlighting what will be needed to tackle both the looming 2020 global sulphur cap and IMO’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

First day Chairman, Reinhard Lüken, CEO, German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM) opened the conference and set the tone for the day’s discussions. He added “We are dealing with some game-changing issues that will have a deep impact on shipping. It is clear that the shift ahead of us will require a major change of mindset in an industry that is not keen on risk and prefers proven, off-the-shelf tools.”

The regulator tasked with driving those changes, represented at the conference by Harry Conway, Vice Chairman of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, reminded delegates of both the pressing need and the inherent challenge in drawing up global regulation. He expressed optimism that the industry would overcome the challenges and said industry dialogue was essential to creating effective regulation. “At the IMO level, we depend on you the industry to provide us with technical information and advice before forming regulations,” Conway added. “We make fact-based regulations, based on evidence rather than speculation.”.

The opening session was the shipowner panel, set up to discuss ‘Investing in the future fleet’. The session provided the audience with a frank and honest discussion on where they see the future of commercial shipping heading, and how to tackle the very real issues of meeting targets. Speakers included Sjaak Klap, V.P., Business Development Department, Spliethoff, Tor Øyvind Ask, Fleet Director, Solvang ASA, Thomas David, Head New Building, John T. Essberger GmbH & Co.KG, Piter Oosterhof, Fleet Manager, Royal Wagenborg and John Bradshaw, Technical Director, International Chamber of Shipping. Bradshaw concluded the panel and commented that despite the challenges facing them, the 2050 target is achievable and that as an industry “commercial shipping has a good history of doing what it is told to do”.

The day concluded with the first two presentations from nominees for The Motorship Award – a new prize recognising ambitious emission-cutting projects that offer results across the industry. Rolls-Royce Marine and the Norwegian Maritime Administration explained how they had incrementally improved a series of multipurpose coastal vessels by adding energy storage, reducing installed power and building in innovative technologies in power management and propulsion design. A research project by TecnoVeritas validating a new technology for emulsifying fuel, with dramatic benefits on NOx formation and sulphur emissions, was also considered.

The conference will continue today, 15 November and will conclude on Friday with a technical visit on board the Scandlines hybrid ferry 'Deutschland', a unique RoPax and railway vessel. Senior Vice President of Route Management & Operations at Scandlines, Michael Guldmann Petersen, will give a presentation of the Scandlines hybrid and zero emissions projects followed by a tour of the engine room and the bridge.

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