Bjarne Foldager has highlighted the sulphur cap, decarbonisation and customer care as early focuses following his appointment as head of MAN Energy Solutions’ two-stroke engine business.
Mr Foldager has been at the company since September 2016, joining as vice president of two-stroke sales and promotion from Maersk Tankers, where he was global head of operations. He succeeds Thomas Knudsen, who had worked with the engine developer since for 35 years. Mr Knudsen will continue to be involved in maritime projects outside MAN.
As he assumed the lead role in both MAN’s low-speed engine division and its Danish business, Mr Foldager spoke with Marine Propulsion about the three pressing issues that will define the start of his tenure. First among them is the impending cap on sulphur in marine fuel.
“The 0.5% sulphur cap is an urgent matter we have been working on for some time, but now we are less than 12 months away," he said. "We are as prepared as we can be, understanding how the new 0.5% sulphur fuels coming onto the market will impact the performance of engines, lube oil requirements and piston rings, for example. Our foremost priority is to help our customers through this change.”
Looking further ahead, Mr Foldager identified IMO's ambition of at least halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as a main focus for the company. He said the move from prescriptive to goal-based regulations would enable the industry to deliver the creative solutions needed.
“Now the IMO has said, ‘this is the target, you as an industry figure out how to do it’. That is good. It transfers the responsibility to the industry to figure out the best way to meet those goals. Our role is to navigate that and together with the other partners in the industry find the solutions.”
Mr Foldager also emphasised the need for close customer contact, particularly during times that are both technically and financially challenging.
"Anything that can reduce cost is important," he said. "There is a lot of uncertainty about the future but one thing is certain: the price of energy will go up. That means that any measures that can be made to reduce energy consumption - be that with new or old ships, including new ways of retrofitting – will increase in value. Things that did not make sense two years ago may be sensible in 2020.”
The technical challenges raised by IMO's imminent global sulphur cap will be the subject of Riviera Maritime Media's Americas Sulphur 2020 Conference, to be held in Houston on 5-6 March. Book your place now.