The project will design two concept vessels: a bulk carrier, which will utilise sails to capture wind energy, and a cruise ship that will operate with a Wärtsilä-designed engine running on hydrogen fuel
Several decarbonisation technologies will be demonstrated in practice on board the vessels, according to a statement from CHEK.
Wärtsilä’s contribution extends to both vessels in the project, and the company said it will work on system integration for both vessels, including hybridisation, energy storage and shore power connections. Wärtsilä said it will develop a modular fuel-flexible powertrain to reduce fuel consumption, implementing a gate rudder system to improve efficiency and provide route optimisation for the wind-assisted bulker.
BAR Technologies is partnering with commodities giant Cargill to introduce the wing sail propulsion system for a Kamsarmax vessel. The company said the system will be capable of annualised energy savings of up to 30%. The vessel will also feature automated, optimised vessel routeing, waste heat recovery, hull form optimisation and a gate rudder.
Discussing MSC’s contributions to the project, MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago reportedly said the move is "another example of our commitment to the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technologies and solutions".
MSC has taken steps to champion the use of biofuels and recently joined the global industrial hydrogen fuel advocacy body the Hydrogen Council as a steering member.
Both vessels in the CHEK project are aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 99% and achieve at least 50% savings in energy use, and a reduction in black carbon emissions of over 95%. These two vessel types currently constitute 85% of global greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, representing a key area for carbon savings.
BAR Technologies chief executive John Cooper said “Wind propulsion will be a cornerstone of low carbon shipping in future, with the versatility to deliver efficiency savings regardless of the powertrain used. However, it is most effective as part of a wider suite of decarbonisation technologies, and especially when designed into the vessel platform from the beginning. We’re excited to be a part of bringing this first vessel to market to help the shipping industry tackle its crucial emissions challenge.”
The project, granted funding of €10M (US$12.1M) by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme to accelerate innovation, is set to begin in mid-2021 and run for 36 months.
The CHEK project involves vessel charterers, vessel operators, marine technology companies, designers and universities who will all work to deploy decarbonisation technology.
Consortium partners include the University of Vaasa (co-ordinator), World Maritime University, Wärtsilä, Cargill, MSC Cruises, Lloyd’s Register, BAR technologies, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, and Climeon.
With the new vessel design method, a statement from the consortium said results of the two test vessels can also be applied to other vessel types, such as tankers, container ships, general cargo vessels, and ferries. The project said it will also undertake the preparation of future scenarios, and an analysis of factors affecting the development potential for low-carbon shipping, such as the current infrastructure.
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