Adopting New Clean Tech Remains Challenging for Shipowners

Credits: Houlder

A lack of collaboration and transparency on green technology performance has been a key barrier to its uptake, reports Riviera Maritime quoting Houlder strategy consultant Sean McLauchlin.

One of major challenge in meeting international shipping’s decarbonisation goals is the slow pace in adopting new clean technologies. According to a recent survey of ship owners, conducted by Houlder, the uptake of new clean technologies has been slowed by a lack of collaboration between the owners themselves, as well as with their technology providers.

To compile the survey, Houlder interviewed senior executives in the container, bulker, cruise and ferry sectors, anonymising the information into a whitepaper, Clean technology and the decarbonisation challenge.

Survey findings

There is a perceived lack of independent corroboration for the claims made by some technology vendors, and some shipowners point to disappointing adoptions, according to the survey. While the equipment may perform as the manufacturer intended, it does not always deliver the savings claimed and sometimes comes with a significant increase in opex.

None of the participants accused technology providers of deliberately misleading results but reflected that the data in a brochure will inevitably relate to another ship. Additionally, while there are a lot of operational and technological solutions available for meeting the more immediate decarbonisation goals, such as IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulations, getting new technologies onboard and commissioned can be challenging. A ship is a system and applying an additional component to that system can result in unintended consequences.

Those who charter ships on the spot market observed that they found it difficult to risk investments that would substantially increase their day rates. They said a discussion on a long-term charter can be significantly aided by showing a high environmental performance at the outset, coupled with a plan to invest over the life of the charter.

In contrast, a vessel sold on spot gets much less benefit and usually it is the cheapest ship that wins.

The discussion about clean technologies is often framed around retrofits, leaving the discussion about future fuels linked to newbuilds. The fact that future fuels have been estimated to be two to 10 times more expensive than legacy fuels, plus their significantly reduced volumetric energy density, was unsurprisingly raised in most of our discussions and linked to the need to take radical clean technology thinking into the newbuild environment as well.

Read the full article here.

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Source: Riviera Maritime Media


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