Vessel Pooling To Lead The Way For Bringing FuelEU Maritime Benefits

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New research from Finnish pool start-up Ahti Climate claims 70 vessels burning heavy fuel oil (HFO) can be made compliant with FuelEU regulations by a single e-methanol ship

Carbon Intensity Limits 

Beginning 1 January 2025, the European Union’s FuelEU Maritime regulations enter into force as part of the bloc’s larger ‘Fit For 55’ package, which aims to enable the EU to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 (compared with 1990 levels) and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

All ships entering EU waters must comply with new carbon intensity limits on vessel emissions.

One of the primary aims of the new regulation is to increase the demand for renewable and low-carbon fuels.  

Ahti Climate runs a FuelEU-compliant pool to allow owners of compliant low-emissions ships to be compensated for their excess allowance, while owners of more polluting vessels can avoid heavy penalties.

The Ahti Pool uses AI-enabled optimization algorithms, and energy data sets to find the lowest cost of compliance for vessels. Now the company believes its calculations show the use of one e-methanol vessel on voyages within the European Union’s waters could make 70 vessels using HFO compliant.

A single ship using e-methanol and consuming a similar amount of energy to 3,000 tonnes of HFO per year could have a carbon intensity of 5 g of CO2 equivalent per megajoule (gCO2e/MJ). HFO has a carbon intensity of 91.6 gCO2e/MJ, while the target level for FuelEU Maritime is 89.3 gCO2e/MJ.

Market Impacts 

Due to the high costs of low-carbon fuels, there remains debate over the financial viability of ships powered by them. However, Ahti Climate believes there are additional benefits which can be achieved under FuelEU Maritime through pooling compliance within a fleet using an optimised mix of low-carbon and traditional bunkers on different vessels. 

The value obtained from using low-carbon fuels is not limited to the year in which it occurs, and instead, any compliance surplus can be ‘banked’ later for following FuelEU Maritime reporting periods.

Ahti Climate chief executive Risto-Juhani Kariranta said, “For example, thanks to our Ahti Pool calculator we have determined that through the ultra-low carbon intensity possible with e-fuels and the renewable fuels of nonbiological origin multiplier, in 2025 only 1.3% of a ship’s total energy would need to come from e-methanol to be compliant, and for biodiesel it would be 3.1%. The rest of your bunkers could be HFO, and you’d suffer no penalty under FuelEU Maritime.”

“Companies that fail to optimise their vessel operations in response to FuelEU Maritime will find their overheads quickly become a competitive handcuff,” he added.

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Source: Rivieramm