Hempel A/S group segment manager, dry dock Andreas Glud explains how tanks coatings can help shipping achieve GHG emissions standards
As the vehicle for more than 80% of the world’s trade – an oft-quoted fact – the critical role that shipping plays for every industry, for every nation and individual was laid bare this year; but so too was the impressive ability of the maritime industry to overcome unprecedented challenges. Looking forward, for all of us, playing a positive role in efforts to decarbonise shipping operations should be top of the agenda in the years ahead.
To do so requires recognition that the regulatory requirements for emissions reduction might keep moving, but the goal posts will stay in the same place, so we can all aim for the same target. Under the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Initial GHG Strategy, we need to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008 and to at least halve carbon emissions by 2050. This target will not change in the coming years, but the means of achieving the goal, and the regulatory tools and frameworks for getting us there, will keep us all on our toes.
We saw this most recently in November, when, at its 75th session, IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed draft measures to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI.
“There is an increased burden of expectation to track and lower carbon emissions by any means necessary”
The amendment, if adopted at the next MEPC session in 2021, would assign a rating to existing ships based on their operational carbon emissions and their progress towards emissions reduction. The draft amendment includes an Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) that will be required of vessels above 5,000 gt in the existing fleet from 2023 and is aimed at addressing technical aspects (how the vessel is retrofitted and equipped) and operational measures (how the ship operates) in relation to decarbonisation. The amendment ties this to a new operational carbon intensity indicator (CII).
This means there is an increased burden of expectation on shipowners and operators to track and lower their carbon emissions by any means necessary in anticipation of more robust reporting requirements in the near future. For all operators, the application of an advanced hull coating solution is one reliable investment that will guarantee improved operational performance and reduced emissions without significant upfront costs. Protecting the hull of a vessel from fouling will ultimately reduce drag and, subsequently, reduce the amount of fuel required, and as a result, reduce operating costs and lower emissions.
This is why Hempel, the worldwide coatings manufacturer, has drawn on its 100-years-plus experience to develop one of the most environmentally-efficient hull coatings available to the maritime industry – Hempaguard MaX. Hempaguard MaX is a smooth three-coat system that achieves an exceptionally low average hull roughness for less drag and its improved fouling protection delivers a guaranteed maximum speed loss of 1.2% over five years (according to ISO 19030). These two factors combined result in lower fuel requirements.
The three coats comprising Hempaguard MaX are Hempaprime Immerse 900, tie-coat Nexus II, and Hempaguard X8. The topcoat-Hempaguard X8–drives the antifouling performance and incorporates Hempel’s patented Actiguard technology that combines the smoothness of a silicone coating with an improved fouling defence solution. This innovative technology was first used in the revolutionary Hempaguard X7 fouling defence solution. Since its launch in 2013, this coating has been applied to nearly 2,000 vessels enabling those owners to collectively reduce their annual bunker bill by more than USD500M and, cut CO2 emissions by more than 10M tonnes.
Hempaguard MaX enables full trading flexibility without restriction on water temperature, trading area or trading pattern. The combination of unrivalled fuel savings and operational flexibility means that Hempaguard MaX maximises efficiency and reduces operational costs for any vessel. Of course, we recognise owners need solutions that deliver fuel and emissions savings, as well as the capability to accurately measure, monitor and report on the contribution each eco-solution adopted on a vessel is actually contributing to vessel performance.
We recommend vessel owners and operators utilise SHAPE, Hempel’s System for Hull and Propeller Efficiency. SHAPE is a process of measurement over time that monitors the long-term efficiency trends through a range of in-service performance indicators to measure, monitor and implement coatings systems that improve hull and propeller efficiency. It is based on the ISO 19030 standard that defines the methodology for determining changes in hull and propeller performance and details industry standard measures for propeller efficiency.
Armed with this data intelligence, shipowners and operators of all vessel sizes can better understand and adjust their operations to optimise fuel savings and demonstrate efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This is of course only part of the puzzle, and we recognise that the application of hull coatings alone is not enough to get industry to the 2030 GHG target – but it does provide a vehicle for all owners and operators to move a significant step closer to the goal posts. At the same time, as an industry, we can continue to work on developing those game-changing solutions that will get us to the back of the net by 2050.