ESL Shipping, steel manufacturer SSAB and the Swedish Port of Oxelösund are trialling virtual arrival to lower shipping emissions
This trial has started on the Luleå-Oxelösund sea traffic route in Sweden, but could include more routes in the future.
ESL Shipping operations director Kirsi Ylärinne said the experience after the first couple of arrivals were positive and resulted in reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. “It is delightful to see that other customers have shown strong interest in the concept too,” she said.
From this initial response, there are plans to expand this trial to lower emissions from Swedish shipping further. “The aim is to extend the virtual arrival to other common trade lines after Q3 2021,” said Ms Ylärinne.
Virtual arrival uses technology to ensure a ship arrives at its port as precisely as possible to its expected time, while reducing its fuel expenditure and therefore emissions.
Once a time is set, the vessel’s speed is fixed to meet this expected arrival.
But if there are changes, the vessel’s speed is reset for the ship to meet the revised arrival time, for example if it is known the berth will not be free until a certain date and time. The vessel still retains its place in the berthing line-up, based on the arrival time for its normal service speed.
In addition to lowering the environmental footprint, virtual arrival gives ports better tools for more reliable scheduling and lining up vessel berthings.
ESL Shipping is part of Aspo Plc and transports product and raw material for industry and energy production year-round. It is a partner in the EU co-funded project Bothnia Bulk, which seeks to reduce year-round shipping emissions in the northern Baltic Sea.
The project upgrades the existing maritime link between the ports of Luleå, Oxelösund and Raahe, in Finland.
One part of the project is introducing two new IA ice-class dry bulk carriers, Viikki and Haaga, fuelled by LNG from a bunkering centre in Raahe.
There will also be onshore power supply in the Port of Luleå, where a new hybrid propulsion tug entered operation last year, and customised LNG safety handling and bunkering procedures in other ports.
Bothnia Bulk is a part of the Zero Vision Tool (ZVT) joint industry project. ZVT is a collaboration platform for safer, more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient transport by sea.
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