Interview with Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement – Ships Meeting the Most Stringent Environmental Standards.

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Prakhar-Singh-Chandel.jpgJune 2016, MFAME published a news about three Bernhard Schulte Ships Outperforms in Meeting the Most Stringent Environmental Standards.  In line with that, MFAME got in touch with the Fleet Energy Efficiency Manager – Mr. Prakhar Chandel on the journey by which these three ships have been graded very high when it comes to energy efficiency.  Mr. Chandel has thrown light on certain key aspects on how BSM (Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement) aims to upkeep the ships during these tough market conditions.

1. Three sister ships, Carl, Christa and Clemens Schulte – the best ships in terms of energy efficiency? Can you please explain typical highlights of these ships?

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) carries out intensive crew training for environmental processes and procedures to ensure that the highest environmental standards are maintained at all times.  BSM has introduced an innovative software called Voyage-PAL (Portal Active Link), which monitors consumption and captures emission data.  This helps in micro-monitoring and controlling CO, NOx and SOx.  Rightship is an independent environmental and vessel vetting specialist, which monitors almost all sailing vessels and with whom ship owners and managers willingly co-operate.  Based on the information provided to Rightship on vessels under BSM’s management, Carl Schulte along with her sister vessels have being graded with A+ on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions scale and were given a five-star Environmental Score rating, ranking among the top 20 vessels out of 76,000 ships graded by RightShip in total worldwide.  Carl Schulte was ranked due to her current performance among the top 2% of containerships of her size and type.

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2. What is so special when it comes to hull design of these ships?

Hull optimization is carried out by a reiterative process using an operating profile of the vessel at different speeds and by preparing various drafts of design.  This results in improved hull efficiency compared to the original basic hull design.  Same was tested with the final designed propeller in a model test basin to check conformity with optimised hull predicted performance and it was found acceptable.  A Becker rudder was installed to further improve efficiency. For their design, these vessels could attain an EEDI which is 48% lower than baseline requirements and far better than what is mandated by IMO to be achieved by year 2025 (25%).

3. Which software was used right from the design phase to optimize voyage planning and to measure emissions?

Voyage planning is not optimised during the design phase, but after the vessel starts its operations and depending on several operational and commercial factors as the vessels are meant for worldwide trading.  As already mentioned, we use an in-house developed software called Voyage PAL for the measurement of emissions, which assists the master to optimize the current voyage based on past captured data.

4. Can you please comment on the “New hardware and software systems installed? This is based on the news reports from the BSM website.

We have incorporated a live fuel measurement system with torque measurement, flowmeters and a digital display, which can record actual fuel consumption every two seconds.  Mass type flow meters have been installed for accurate measurements.  Sea water cooling pumps are controlled by VFD (variable frequency drive), which results in many savings preventing idle running of these huge pumps.  Reefer load measurement has been incorporated and can be remotely monitored.  Auxiliary engines exhausts have been used to produce steam in boiler (waste heat recovery).  All these improvements have an impact on the vessel’s efficiency and can be monitored.   

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5. Carl Schulte is currently performing in the top 2% of containerships of its size and type – can you please explain so that the maritime world can better understand this?

Environmental vetting bodies like RightShip monitor and award rankings to each vessel based on a number of factors which generate the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.  Some of these factors are:

  1. Industry related (e.g. IMO, EEDI)
  2. Apply to all vessel types and sizes
  3. A relative comparison of vessels of similar size and same type (+/- 10% DWT/ bulk carriers)
  4. Based on European A-G GHG Rating
  5. Design characteristics, such as size (DWT), speed (knots), engine specification (size/consumption) and DNV GL review (October 2015)

Carl Schulte along with her sister vessels scored very high on all the above mentioned factors.

Further charterers, ship owners and financial institutions are forced to heavily rely on the ratings provided by RightShips before chartering out 2 billion tonnes of cargo per year.

6. Can you please throw some light on facts and figures on discounts offered by various ports – this would definitely set your standards as a benchmark against other companies.

Several ports offer various discounts based on compliance with environmental standards.  The detailed list can be found on the website of RightShip and Environmental Ship Index (www.environmentalshipindex.org).  

Recently Carl Schulte established an environmental first by consecutively visiting two of these ground breaking ports, Port Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert Port Authority – and in doing so attracted significant economic benefits.

Port Metro Vancouver’s EcoAction program recognises and rewards vessels that go beyond pre-set requirements to reduce their air emissions, offering a discount of up to 47% in harbour dues.

Vessels are eligible for reduced fees if they use alternative fuels and technologies, shore power or have obtained acceptable scores in third party environmental programmes such as the RightShip Environmental Score, Environmental Ship Index, Clean Shipping Index, Green Marine, Green Award or ship classification societies.

Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) ‘s Green Wave Program recognises and rewards vessels that have a lower environmental footprint, offering three levels of discounted harbour dues based on the environmental performance of the vessel.

Vessels are rewarded for using lower than required sulphur fuel, or through a suite of environmental arrangements including the Green Marine Program, RightShip’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Rating and Environmental Score, Green Award certification, EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) and the Clean Shipping Index.

7.  What are the future ambitions for BSM when it comes to energy efficiency?

BSM has opted for ISO 50001 certification which is purely a voluntary certification.  ISO 50001 is based on the management system model of continual improvement, which is also used for other well-known standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001.  This makes it easier for BSM to integrate energy management into the Company’s overall efforts to improve quality and environmental management.

ISO 50001:2011 provides a framework of requirements for organizations to:

  • develop a policy for more efficient use of energy
  • fix targets and objectives to meet the policy
  • use data to better understand and make decisions on energy use
  • measure the results
  • review how well the policy works, and
  • continually improve energy management.

8. Does BSM have any new orders on the order book? If so, can you please let us know innovative technologies being used or being tried out?

BSM is doing several supervisions for own and third party customers and wherever possible, the Company carries out hull optimisation for operating a vessel.  BSM further incorporates online PMI for engine tuning, VFD driven pumps for SW cooling, installation of VFD cranes onboard, waste heat recovery from the auxiliary engines driving generators and producing steam at ports, optimised/ de-rate ME and various other measures.  

9. How about the other ships under BSM’s management – are there any plans to make them more energy efficient?

BSM is committed to safe, reliable and efficient vessel operations as well as protecting the environment through full compliance and a top quartile safety and performance record.  BSM tracks and analyses energy consumption on vessels as well as uses its expertise and best practices to improve energy efficiency while reducing emissions.

10. What was the role of shore management in implementing energy and environmental goals?

The cornerstone of good management is commitment from the top management and dedication from the operations personnel.  In matters of safety, pollution prevention and energy saving, it is the commitment, competence, attitude and motivation of BSM’s people at all levels that determines the end results.  Firstly, the management is responsible to set a company policy determining the Company’s aims and goals in terms of quality, safety, environmental and energy efficiency issues.  Secondly, the management is responsible for providing capable, well-trained crew and adequate tools to ensure that the Company’s policies are successfully implemented.  Further, the management is responsible for setting realistic and achievable targets for the Company’s quality, safety, environmental and energy performance. The performance should be reviewed on a regular basis and previous targets should be updated on the basis of actual performance.

The active involvement of the personnel is a prerequisite for a successful management system.  This is normally achieved by providing them with the opportunity to actively participate in establishing, implementing and operating the management system at various organisational levels.

We thank Mr. Chandel for his time, insights, and special thanks to BSM’s marketing and communications Manager for allowing us to publish the interview.

We welcome our readers to share your milestones with us and let the maritime world know about it.

Write to us: [email protected]

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It is essential and a great challenge for every ship Manager to maintain a ship, given that lots of upcoming environmental regulations and individual local requirements are in force. The Ship owners continue to bleed huge chunks of their time and resources to meet various regulations, in spite of the current gloomy market conditions.

With all these in mind Viswa Lab has designed and developed a solution called VEEMS (Viswa Energy Efficiency Management System) and has successfully installed them on board many ships.

Here is Viswa Lab’s comments about the system and its cost:

“The market is gloomy and margins are too tight in every aspect of shipping.  With all this in mind, we are ready to work with any Ship owner/manager and offer VEEMS system on flexible terms with no major binding or hidden surprises.  As usual, we stand for our quality and rely on complete customer satisfaction every time” said  Mr. R C Bhavnani, Vice-President, Viswa Lab.

Further, many ship managers have offered great comments after using VEEMS and Viswa Lab is open for a LIVE online demonstration for the system.

Feel free to write/request for a demo: [email protected]

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