Improved data sharing, standardisation, collaboration and further investment in qualifying and analysing data will help operators to optimise vessel operations to reduce emissions and improve profits
These were the key issues debated by a panel of technical experts at Riviera’s A holistic approach to cost-effective fleetwide energy management webinar held on 4 March 2021 as part of Riviera’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week.
On the panel were tanker owner International Seaways performance manager Michael LaGrassa, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) head of data governance and analytics Frank Paleokrassas and Nautilus Labs senior director for strategy and insights Ross Millard.
They discussed how to achieve a cost-effective, fleetwide management programme that interacts with technical, operational, commercial and regulatory factors.
Mr Paleokrassas explained how with different vessel types and scale, BSM can balance these considerations to unlock significant fuel savings and reduce emissions. He said BSM saved US$5M in 2020 just from managing hull maintenance and cylinder oil consumption. “It is not that much. There is scope for a lot more,” said Mr Paleokrassas.
This could come from using data telemetry to remotely monitor onboard system performance. “We have 50 ships with telemetry integrated with our enterprise resource planning tools,” said Mr Paleokrassas. He expects more savings will come from using information for voyage optimisation and improving the performance of engines and propulsion.
“We will be looking at two- and four-stroke engines and all types of fuel,” he explained. “We are moving into prescriptive analytics and have a joint venture with Navidium. We are implementing real-time data streams and focusing on having edge computing and analytics on board our ships,” said Mr Paleokrassas.
Mr LaGrassa described how International Seaways implements data management for tanker optimisation. It owns 35 tankers, from medium-range product tankers to VLCCs, operating in pools and technically managed by V.Ships. “We get noon report data and put this into Tres Solutions’ platform to present this data in a useable manner,” said Mr LaGrassa. This prevents duplication “and reduces errors in data entry”.
International Seaways monitors and manages fuel used in main engines, auxiliaries and boilers on its tankers. “We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption,” said Mr LaGrassa.
This data is being used for the tanker owner to set baselines for the upcoming IMO Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) to be ahead of 2023 IMO regulations. “We will be ahead of time and can improve vessel performance,” he explained.
Mr Millard explained how there were several stakeholders with different interests in ships and their data, such as owners, technical and commercial managers and charterers. “They each have different angles,” he said. “Owners control the data, but how do they use the data and share it with other stakeholders?”
He thinks a key focus for the shipping industry is to find ways to share information across multiple parties as this will be increasingly required for emissions reporting.
“We need some type of standard if we are to run efficiently as there will be emissions pressures and others will be getting involved,” said Mr Millard. “As the industry moves forward, there will be incentives to reduce emissions.” He said there needs to be a common structure for owners, charterers and managers to work together and “align their goals with the realities of the industry”.
There is a growing trend to implement vessel optimisation technologies, as shipping companies recognise the benefits of digitalisation.
Over two-thirds of this webinar’s attendees (69%) said their company was planning to invest in performance management tools and/or telemetry over the next two years.
Almost all of those responding to poll questions (96%) thought sensor-based optimisation is the future for the industry. There was nearly unanimous agreement (92%) that reducing fuel consumption is the responsibility of both vessel owners and operators.
Attendees were asked for their view on using telemetry and automated remote data collection as shipmanagement tools. Around 65% said these were a natural way forward that will replace manual reporting and 25% said they were a good way to supplement manual reporting. But just 4% said they were valuable tools for benchmarking manual reporting, 3% an interesting technology for niche applications and 3% an expensive and complicated luxury.
Attendees were then asked whether their company currently uses some form of voyage optimisation software, of which 58% said yes and 42% no.
They were asked how their company manages the performance of its fleet. Of those who responded, 52% said central teams use third-party tools; 41% said central teams use inhouse tools, 4% said there were decentralised arrangements with inhouse tools and 3% decentralised arrangements with third-party tools.
On Riviera’s A holistic approach to cost-effective fleet-wide energy management webinar panel were (left to right) International Seaways performance manager Michael LaGrassa, Nautilus Labs senior director for strategy and insights Ross Millard and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) head of data governance and analytics Frank Paleokrassas.
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