Through innovation and collaboration with customers and key stakeholders, OSV owners can reduce their carbon footprints and impact climate change, writes Maersk Supply Service chief operating officer Mark Handin
We all have a role to play when it comes to climate change. Maersk Supply Service is committed to becoming an industry leader in global climate change initiatives. As a leading vessel owner and operator, we believe that we can have a meaningful impact on protecting our planet by reducing our carbon emissions, particularly from our offshore operations.
Maersk Supply Service has been acutely focused on the climate in recent years, with several initiatives up and running to address the decarbonisation challenge – but more can be done. Looking forward, by changing behaviours and implementing new technologies, we firmly believe that we can make a powerful impact – especially if collaboration is extended across our industry.
Every step matters
Maersk Supply Service has set a target to reduce our CO2 intensity by 50% versus our 2018 baseline. We believe this is an ambitious target, therefore, we need to have a focus on each step along the way. We cannot change the entire OSV fleet overnight, but actions taken now will lead us closer to our long-term ambitions. We have a significant number of initiatives that can illustrate how we envision the roadmap below.
Unique vessels – special capabilities and focus
More than 90% of our current CO2 emissions come from fuel consumption on board our vessels. Additional emissions sources include seafarers’ travel, transporting goods, and heating and electricity to our offices and yard facilities. As our vessels account for the vast majority, we will focus our initial efforts there.
Our vessels have powerful engines and perform a variety of work scopes. Our anchor handlers specialise in towing and mooring operations. The work scopes of these vessels cover long-distance ocean towing, anchor-handling work and other activities within mooring work scopes, as well as long periods of precision station keeping in a specific location (dynamic positioning operations), and periods of navigating ’light ship’ to/from work locations.
While careful planning can significantly reduce fuel consumption, the diverse nature of these different operational work scopes increases this complexity and challenges us to find solutions to optimise our fuel consumption in a variety of situations.
Nonetheless, we have challenged ourselves to put a focus on decarbonisation across all our operations, no matter the work scope.
At Maersk Supply Service, we took a significant step forward in our decarbonisation journey during 2018. At that time, we introduced a programme to increase the awareness of energy efficiency among our workforce – with a special focus on providing our seafarers with the awareness and tools to best manage our fuel efficiency.
On some vessels we reduced the fuel consumption more than 10% compared to similar types of operational modes. While more work can be done, we are proud to have seen a significant improvement in the first years of this initiative.
We have also placed a strong focus on technological solutions to this global challenge. Our teams have been focused on vessel upgrades, such as the installation of hybrid battery solutions, more efficient (variable) frequency drive retrofits, and the use of biofuels where feasible, as examples. With a sharp focus on innovation, we are committed to achieving more in this space.
The power of collaboration
In order to achieve a significant reduction, we as an OSV owner need to collaborate closely – with customers, equipment providers, regulators and other key stakeholders.
This is a global problem that requires broad solutions, and, as an industry, we can only maximise our impact by breaking down any silos. We look forward to working with the industry to do our part in this decarbonisation effort.
We have an exciting and important journey ahead – let’s collaborate, share ideas and get started today rather than tomorrow.
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