The EU MRV regulation moves a step closer in August 2017. Will this requirement for monitoring and reporting see a boost in adoption of ‘big data’ technology?
The EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulations came into force in July 2015. The regulations are designed to cut marine vessel CO2 emissions through enhanced capture and collection of data.
The migration of data collection and reporting from a voluntary to a mandatory action on the part of shipowners could have profound implications for the uptake of data-analytics technology in shipping as a whole, as shipowners – already forced to handle and report emissions data – use the capability more widely on their vessels.
As specified in Article 6 of the regulation, for every vessel that will be making a commercial call in an EU port from January 2018, a monitoring plan (MP) needs to be developed. Each MP must include the identity of the ship and shipping company/shipowner; an identification of emissions sources; a description of procedures for monitoring voyages, fuel consumption and activity data; methodology for data gaps; and procedures for quality control and identification of responsibilities and ICT systems used.
The MP must also specify which of the four permissible emissions logging and monitoring methods have been used. The permitted methods are via bunker fuel delivery notes and periodic stock-takes of fuel tanks, bunker fuel tank monitoring on board, flowmeters for applicable combustion processes, and direct emissions measurements.
With the first legal deadline having just passed on 31 August, it is paramount that operators have their MRV preparations in place, and moves in this direction will be seen as a boost for those manufacturers supplying marine system and equipment. As IMO is introducing a parallel IMO consumption data-collection system, this is an issue that needs to be addressed by shipowners worldwide, not just those who sail to EU ports.
This is certainly the opinion of Royston product manager Damian McCann, who asserted: “Thousands of vessels could need to invest in retrofitting monitoring technologies to ensure compliance, while new shipbuilders will be required to consider the options for installing requisite technology as part of ship-wide system infrastructure specification.”
Royston’s enginei fuel-management system, which has been designed specifically to enable vessel operators to monitor and improve fuel optimisation and performance efficiencies, can automate the whole process from fuel logging through data transfer to analysis and reporting, enabling operators to easily and successfully comply with their MRV obligations.
For full MRV compliance requirements, and building on the enhanced fuel-data analysis and engine-performance reporting options, the latest version of enginei incorporates full emissions monitoring modules, either through a vessel’s existing gas analyser or a low-cost engine profile-based emissions analysis method.
Mr McCann explained that “All the information captured on board is made available for remote interrogation by onshore management and supervisory staff through a secure online portal and web dashboard, with enhanced data transmission between ship and shore. In this way, data can be collected and presented for automatic submission to MRV verifiers.”
It is clear that effective fuel monitoring and management systems are at the centre of the MRV regulations, and that access to reliable fuel-consumption data will be critical to improving the operational efficiency of vessels while at sea. Such access will also play an effective role in long-term marine engine performance evaluation and mandatory maintenance programmes.
ABB, too, sees MRV as just one part of its wider data package, offering a route into wider functionality for end users. As a standardised MRV-compliant software platform, the ABB module collects and visualises data from onboard sensors on a ship’s fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions on a per-voyage basis. This information is then used to create an annual emission report as required by the MRV regulations for ships above 5000gt calling at European ports, irrespective of where the ship or the company is registered.
The MRV module, though, is one of many components of ABB’s digital marine application, which allows shipowners to monitor performance, such as fuel usage of individual vessels or whole fleets and create benchmarks. The digital marine application is part of the ABB Ability platform, enabling customers to turn data insights into direct actions to enhance performance.
Eniram’s Skylight 2.0 is predicated on a relatively low cost of entry for users, so the fact that it allows shipowners to correctly monitor and report a vessel’s CO2 emissions in order to comply with MRV regulations is bound to make it even more attractive. It provides fully automated reporting on charter-party speed and fuel consumption, and enables fleet-wide benchmarking and optimisation of vessel speed with a speed profile report that identifies areas where speed profile adjustments could lead to savings.
Also aiming squarely at the market demand prompted by the MRV regulations is the Navis Bluetracker monitoring and reporting software. It was declared ‘MRV Ready’ by DNV GL in June, following a validation gap analysis audit conducted by the classification society.
The module is able to relay details of CO2 emissions as well as other data relevant to reporting, and meets the requirements of the MRV regulations in combination with the system’s own Bluetracker Manual Reporting system or with an external reporting system integrated via an API interface.
The Bluetracker MRV module incorporates a data-validation engine that monitors incoming data in real-time and checks the physical and ship-specific properties for plausibility against characteristic machine curves, consumption curves and hull models.
In addition, the data is checked for chronological order and consistency to ensure there are no time gaps or multiple entries in the reports. An automatic notification function alerts the crew and superintendent ashore if errors exist.
“It’s imperative for shipowners and managers to ready their systems for the ongoing collection and monitoring of CO2 levels for all voyages into, out of and between EU ports,” said Navis VP and general manager (EMEA) Guenter Schmidmeir. “Bluetracker MRV is well positioned to meet this need, offering Navis customers automatic aggregation of all MRV-relevant data in real-time, instead of at the end of the monitoring period. Additionally, MRV reports for an entire fleet can be generated by one person, and can be easily submitted to the European Commission via the API interface.”
Classification societies are keen to promote the use of performance-monitoring technology as a means of ensuring compliance with MRV. Bureau Veritas, for instance, announced in July that it will offer Shipulse from Ascenz as a technology for real-time ship performance and monitoring in a deal to service shipowners worldwide.
Shipulse captures critical shipboard data covering fuel consumption, bunkering, engine, hull and propeller activity to help monitor performance management and compliance, as well as efficiency, safety and environmental objectives.
The agreement will see Bureau Veritas market Shipulse across its network, offering complementary services and analysis tools based on data-analysis needs across fleets, ship modelling capabilities and the ability to integrate BV software – such as weather routing and trim optimisation.
Shipulse’s CarbonComply module supports EU MRV monitoring and reporting requirements as it enables automated monitoring and reporting of ship CO2 emissions.
CarbonComply can register voyages automatically without the need for manual calculations to break down fuel consumption or emissions on a per-voyage basis.
The system is able to detect and classify different voyage stages such as sea passages, manoeuvring and drifting, and to identify when a ship is either moored or at anchor. This allows for greater granularity from profiling emissions associated with a sea passage versus those from time spent when anchored.
DNV GL’s performance management solution is ECO Insight, which – it was announced at June’s Nor-Shipping – now covers more than 1,400 vessels from 75 companies worldwide.
Clearly, DNV GL sees the need to comply with MRV and similar regulations as a major selling point for its performance management solutions, as ECO Insight helps customers comply with existing and upcoming environmental regulations such as the MRV and the IMO consumption data collection system through its Navigator Insight reporting system.
While Navigator is obviously DNV GL’s preferred recording tool for ECO Insight for fleet performance analysis, it is by no means mandatory. Petter Andersen, principal consultant at DNV GL’s fleet performance business unit, explained: “Most customers have opted to use Navigator Insight, but we have also successfully integrated several third-party or in-house reporting systems, including auto-logging systems.”