Fuel savings in ships due to design changes, says group

01 October 2015, Lagos – More than half of the fuel savings generated from larger ships were due to design changes for slowespeeds, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said.

*Wilhelmsen Ships Service.

The group suggested that fuel savings among mega-boxships come more from slow-steaming and less from its larger vessel size.

According to d Vancouver’s Ship & Bunker, the investigation revealed that, carrier lines making orders for larger ships to cut down on per-unit costs have long touted the fuel efficiency of using larger containerships.

It explained that at least between 55 and 63 per cent of the savings per TEU (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) when upgrading the vessel size from an early 15,000 TEU design to a modern 19,000 TEU design are actually attributable to the layout for lower operation speeds.

OECD described the new builds these days are increasingly having slow-steaming built into the ship design, which make the difference for ships beyond a certain size.

He said: “A large share of the cost savings were achieved by ship upsizing to 5,000 TEU, which more than halved the unit costs per TEU, but the cost savings beyond that capacity are much smaller.”

The organisation explained that mega-containerships were “astonishingly fuel efficient,” generating more fuel savings than even a 16,000 TEU carrier.

Meanwhile, the upgrade to larger ship size is also increasing landside costs by up to US$400 million per year, with factors such as new equipment, dredging costs and port infrastructure having been taken into consideration.

Meanwhile, during the XIII International Exhibition “NEVA-2015 exhibition held in St. Petersburg, Baltic Fleet Tanker  “BF Tanker” signed contracts for the construction of seven ships of “river-sea type” with the shipyards “Oka Shipyard”and “Red Sormovo” and the PJSC “State Transport Leasing Company”.

Under the terms of shipbuilding contracts all seven tankers(project RST-RST-54 and 27) are to be transferred to Ship owner during the2016 river navigation season.

Chairman of the Board Sergey Chaplgyin was quoted as saying, “BF Tanker has consistently implemented its commitments to OAO“LUKOIL”, for the transportation of oil products using a new, safe andefficient fleet, this is our priority. Despite the current difficulties facedby the Russian financial sector, one of the largest Russian leasing companies agreed to support this important ship construction order, according to our information, this is the largest order placed this year at Russian shipyards”quoted Sergey Chaplygin.

With the commissioning of these new ships, BF Tankerplans to transport at least 1 million tons of oil products during 2016. In 2015under a contract with OAO “Lukoil”  BF tanker utilised 17 vessels with a combination of owned and chartered vessels. The company is among the largest river carriers transporting oil for export to the ports of St. Petersburg and Vysotsk.

Construction of new ships in Russia in recent years has been supported by the adoption of a law supporting local shipbuilding and navigation namely 07.11.2011 N 305-FZ, as well as government subsidies related to the level of interest rates on loans and leasing contracts as part of Government regulation N383 from 22.05.2008.

The company plans to increase its fleet even further in the years ahead and expects other shipowners also to utilise state support, which undoubtedly will continue to support the modernisation of the Russian river shipping sector and the development of the domestic shipbuilding industry.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) had recently, cautioned ship masters of the possible dangers associated with carriage of bauxite.IMO explained that the development is based on investigation over the loss of the 10-year-old Bahamas flag bulk carrier, Bulk Jupiter that carried 46,400 tonnes of bauxite when it sank rapidly with 18 fatalities in January 2015.

The circular approved by IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Containers and Cargoes (CCC), warned ship Masters not to accept bauxite for carriage unless the moisture limit for the specific cargo is certified as less than the indicative moisture limit of 10 per cent and the particle size distribution as is detailed in the individual schedule for bauxite in the Code or the cargo is declared as Group A (cargoes that may liquefy) and the shipper declares the transportable moisture limit (TML) and moisture content; or the cargo has been assessed as not presenting Group A properties.
The circular noted that bauxite is currently classified as a Group C cargo (cargoes that do not liquefy or possess a chemical hazard) under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, adding that there is a need to raise awareness of the possible dangers of liquefaction associated with bauxite.

Also, If a Group A cargo (cargo which may liquefy) is shipped with moisture content in excess of its transportable moisture limit (TML), there is a risk of cargo shift, which may result in capsizing.

However, the mandatory IMSBC Code requires Group A cargoes to be tested before loading and to determine their TML and their actual moisture content. The testing should confirm the cargo is below the maximum moisture content considered safe for carriage.

The Sub-Committee was informed of the marine safety investigation into the loss of the Bulk Jupiter, which has uncovered evidence to suggest liquefaction of cargo led to loss of stability.

  • The Guardian
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