Growing industry interest in vessel performance

Market pressures and environmental performance regulations are on the rise, leading to increasing interest in performance systems as shipowners and operators work to achieve greater efficiencies.

HullPIC

The fourth Hull Performance & Insight Conference (HullPIC) attracted a high attendance of industry professionals, including a significant number of shipowners and operators who eyeing opportunities in efficiency-based solutions and technologies.

The annual Hull Performance & Insight Conference (HullPIC), which is jointly organised by Jotun and DNV GL, highlighted common challenges and solutions that can help shipowners and operators realise potential fuel and emission reductions. The conference also revealed how companies are working together and sharing best practices to improve vessel performance monitoring.  

“We firmly believe that fully exploring the potential of efficiency gains through new technologies and performance management is key to sustainable operations,” said Geir Axel Oftedahl, business development director at Jotun Marine Coatings. “The industry in general is becoming more complex and challenging with stakeholders like charterers, banks and regulators, all pushing for more efficiency and transparency. Adopting sustainable business practices and monitoring in accordance with recognised standards will help operators meet the increasing performance demands and regulatory requirements.”  

“The conference brought relevant stakeholders together to exchange experience in the still evolving field of performance management,” said Volker Bertram, senior project manager, Maritime Competence, Learning & Academy at DNV GL. “Clearly, mergers and acquisitions have changed the shipowning landscape, with larger players having swallowed the less fortunate. For performance monitoring, this is good news: The companies with funds for acquisitions generally have a strong focus on performance monitoring and now apply their best practice over more ships, allowing better solutions at lower cost per ship. Few shipowners are big enough to develop their own performance monitoring solutions; most buy the service or software in, focusing on the application and turning insight into action.”

Advancing hull and propeller performance management. Representatives from Jotun, DNV GL and Chevron Shipping, seen here at the three-day gathering in Gubbio, Italy.

Big getting bigger  
According to Bertram there is a “similar evolution of the big getting bigger” through consolidation in the field of performance monitoring. Stormgeo and market leader DNV GL merged their fleet performance portfolios under one banner; meanwhile Wärtsilä got into pole position early on, acquiring Transas and Eniram. Bureau Veritas entered the game in 2017, joining forces with Singapore-based performance monitoring provider Ascenz. Bertram also highlights Akzonobel’s alliance with BMT. “In future, it is likely that the large shipping companies will resort to the services of a handful evolving large performance monitoring providers. The economies of scale and considerable financial requirements for R&D and ICT infrastructure make for a hostile business environment for smaller players.”  

The HullPIC presentations covered a variety of technical subjects and revealed hull performance monitoring continues to develop dynamically. With each passing year, improvements are being made using new technologies and powerful computing techniques, which have an impact on vessel design and operations.  

Data to the fore  
It all starts with better data acquisition, data correction and post-processing, according to Henrik Nielsen (Insatech). “There is significant scope to raise operating efficiency by using data more effectively” said Nielsen, who chaired the opening session which focused on approaches and techniques used in connection with data acquisition and processing.  

Torben Helshoot (VAF) described an approach to monitor the propeller separately from the hull, followed by Carlos Gonzalez (Kyma) who shared techniques for the automated detection of anomalies, and for the assessment of quality in high-frequency data collection systems.  

In separate sessions, Gunnar Prytz (Miros) gave a presentation on distributing real-time measurements of waves, currents and speed through water from ship to shore. Wojciech Gorski (Enamor) focused on information sharing concepts in ship performance management systems. Jean-Marc Bonello (UCL) explored the effect of vessel performance information barriers on decision-making practice, highlighting a time charter application.  

Angelos Ikonomakis (Maersk) shared details of its paper on the application of sensor fusion to drive vessel performance. The paper, developed in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, presents a feasibility study which states fine tuning of the underlying hydrodynamic models is key to the reliable forecasting of fuel consumption.   

Knowledge sharing  
Each presentation was characterized by an undercurrent of innovation and collaboration, with the speakers in unanimous agreement that sharing the results would build a knowledge base to further improve vessel performance, measurements, analysis and actions.  

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) looks set to have a continuing impact on vessel design and operation according to Abel Vargas (NSWC) who shared research demonstrating CFD can form the basis for more efficient evaluation of the costs and benefits of alternative, novel, biofouling control strategies.  

Luke De Freitas (Silverstream) shared details of a full-scale performance measurement and analysis of the Silverstream air lubrication system, which reduces frictional resistance between the water and the hull surface, reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.  

Another innovative technology is Selektope, a hull coating additive that acts as a bio-repellant. Philip Chabaane (I-Tech) revealed promising test results and described how the biotechnology is used in antifouling solutions for hard fouling prevention.   

Uniform approach  
A lot of interest is being shown in the ISO 19030 standard, a uniform approach to performance monitoring. “The introduction of the standard – measurement of changes in hull and propeller performance – has contributed significantly in realizing the importance of performance monitoring and the huge potentials on fuel and carbon dioxide emissions that can be achieved.  However, there is room for improvement with shipowner users wanting to get granular, more accurate details,” said Sergiu Paereli (Jotun Hull Performance Solutions) who described ways to improve the standard, with a particular focus on approaches for better weather filtering.    

Echoing the theme of collaboration: together we are stronger, Volker Bertram (DNV GL) pointed out performance monitoring can be used for many applications, such as the base for contracts between suppliers and owners, charterers and owners, fuel efficiency projects and maintenance triggers. “It is gratifying that the wheel is not reinvented in related initiatives, but rather ISO 19030 taken as a base and built upon with specific adaptions for the purpose at hand.”  

Working groups  
Johnny Eliasson (Chevron Shipping) reported on American initiatives, where the working group NACE International supports organizations developing guidelines for antifouling measures. “There are many organizations worldwide developing best practices and solutions with the aim of reducing biofouling on ships. While this is encouraging, it is also complex in terms of how they interact. Harmonization of efforts is imperative so that the outcome is practical and effective,” opined Eliasson. The NACE working group (TEG532X) is open to all, and participation is encouraged, particularly for ship operators. In his presentation, Eliasson also shared a recent example of how structured hull performance management can lead to significant fuel savings and emission reductions.  

Intertanko has also established a working group, chaired by Francesco Bellusci (Scorpio Group), on giving recommendations to its members concerning performance monitoring. “There is a big regulatory move around performance and that matter is not straightforward. We come to HullPIC to address the practicalities building on and beyond ISO 19030,” said Francesco Bellusci. In addition, OCIMF and IMO working groups have joined forces with HullPIC and are using the ISO 19030 standard as a basis to develop guidelines and recommendations on how to assess energy efficiency and fuel savings.  

Asian insights  
The collaboration theme also came through in a number of joint presentations.  Daniel Schmode (DNV GL) and Francesco Bellusci (Scorpio) shared details on the influence of data sources for hull performance prediction, followed by Tetsuro Ashida (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) and Pekka Pakkanen (NAPA) who shared performance monitoring insight at MOL. Details of the Octarvia project on ship performance in actual seas, involving several industry stakeholders, including, JMUC, NYK, MOL, NMRI, was presented by Ishiguro (JMUC).  

The last conference session brought together a panel of operators and developers, and featured discussions on a diverse range of topics including: performance optimization measures: remote operating vehicles (ROV) applications: taking a holistic approach towards energy efficiency: and addressing skill gaps, crew training.  

Tapping the full potential  
“Companies are focusing on reducing fuel costs and consumption with the help of performance monitoring – which is good – but I sense many lack a holistic approach. Improving the performance of the vessel/fleet includes voyage, hull & propeller, engine and systems, condition-based maintenance and more. This needs to be looked at as a whole and addressed, for example, through better communication and user-friendly guidelines. This would enable companies to tap the full potential of performance management,” pointed out Ivana Melillo (D’Amico Shipping)  

While technological developments and operational improvements continue, more work is needed if the maritime industry is to adapt and change to cut its environment footprint, sufficient to meet the IMO’s 2050 GHG reduction target argued Gil-Yong Han (Intertanko).   

“Regulatory pressure is likely to lead to a more demanding operational framework and higher stakeholder expectations. But at the same time, the drive for energy efficiency and sustainable operations allows for more innovation, new technologies that are likely to benefit both the operators and the environment,” said Oddvin Ertsevåg (Odfjell)  

No silver bullet  
“There is no silver bullet for hull and propeller management,” said Jukka Ignatius (Carnival Maritime) “It is a very complex and evolving topic. Looking ahead, I believe it will become even more important, not only because of energy prices but also because of forthcoming national and international regulations. It will therefore be even more necessary to monitor performance going forward.”  

“It’s no surprise that owners, operators and charterers are exploring opportunities when it comes to vessel optimization due to its direct link to fuel and emission savings,” commented Nikolaos Saratzis (Cargill International) “The ability to measure and quantify performance improvements will be vital to help meet the challenges ahead.”  

HullPIC attracted close to 100 attendees over the three-day gathering in Gubbio, Italy. Summarising the conference, Geir Axel Oftedahl (Jotun) said, “The in-depth sessions and discussions are of great interest and value to us, and that is reflected in the high level of attendees from around the globe. Clearly, performance management is a key topic for many industry stakeholders and, in the spirit of HullPIC, we will continue discussions to further advance vessel performance so that the industry can become even better, more sustainable in the future.”  

The conference proceedings and papers are shown in the link here Proceeding HullPic 2019  

The HullPIC conference is recognized as the foremost gathering of experts and practitioners dedicated to advancing hull and propeller performance. Now in its fourth year, the organisers, together with its supporting sponsors, are already working on the themes for HullPIC 2020.  
The drivers behind the growing industry interest in vessel performance 
The maritime industry is changing. Regulations such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), the EU Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation, the IMO Data Collection System (DCS), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emission regulations and ballast water management regulations have come into force and colour decisions made by stakeholders in the industry, including owners, operators, charterers, financiers, yards, class societies and product and equipment suppliers. 

Stricter limitations on sulphur emissions in 2020 are also likely to pose many challenges to ships operating as the entire globe is effectively designated as an Emission Control Area (ECA), with a sulphur cap of 0.5% in the fuel oil. And it seems only a matter of time before we see broader regulation of carbon emissions; last year, the IMO reached a landmark agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 – compared to 2008. The IMO might also regulate biofouling in the coming years. 

These regulations require an increasing level of environmental performance whilst owners and operators face mounting pressure to maintain the competitiveness of their vessels. There are many measures, both technological and operational, that are being used in the push for more efficient and sustainable operations.  

Industry interest in performance management systems to monitor the performance of a fleet, (including voyage, hull and propeller, engines and systems performance), is also growing as operators work to achieve greater efficiencies. Poor hull and propeller performance alone is currently estimated to account for around 10% of the world’s fleet energy cost and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. 
Regular monitoring on factors influencing ship performance, then, can help operators keep track of the vessel’s condition and how they are performing. Performance monitoring tools can also enrich the operator’s own fleet reports with additional data and provide benchmarking capabilities. 

Also, the use of proven quality hull coatings is another area where the operators – and the industry – can achieve significant impact, with both environmentally and financially sustainable solutions. Reductions in efficiency due to fouling could typically vary from around 5% – 20% so coatings are mentioned frequently in rules and guidelines as a major contributor to improved performance.