Some 260 delegates representing 148 companies from nine countries spent over eight hours, November 12, debating at the GREENER SHIPPING SUMMIT, held at the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel, how best to use clean shipping technology to meet the retrofitting challenge.
Organised by Newsfront / Naftiliaki under the auspices of MARTECMA, through interaction between industry leaders, classification societies and panels comprising the manufacturers of environmental friendly ship’s equipment and service providers, delegates discussed the need to upgrade existing ships and how best to do this.
It became clear, as summit and MARTECMA chairman, Takis Koutris, pointed out, the solutions are out there, but great attention has to be given to decision making as new technology is expensive and the future uncertain.
Options for lifting the environmental level of trading ships was launched by the keynote speaker, Kostas Vlachos, COO, Consolidated Marine Management, and during the day some 21 presentations were made expanding the options available to retrofit new technology, as well as providing delegates with an update on clean fuels and environmental issues.
But, taking Koutris comment further, as the day passed it became evident the biggest challenge facing ship owners and managers as regulatory deadlines loom is finding the funds to upgrade existing trading vessels. Retrofitting makes more sense as solutions are developed using cleaner shipping technology, but they are expensive and can still be something of a gamble.
It is also worth remembering many of the technical solutions available today aimed at making shipping a greener industry, involve mandated regulatory demands and do not result in any financial gain for ship operators, quite the opposite. It also became clear great planning must go into preparing to retrofit a trading vessel with the ideal being the establishment of in-house teams to study all the options.
“This is a must,” said Danaos’ deputy COO and technical director, Dimitris Vastarouchas. When looking at a retrofit, “one must not compare operational measures savings, such as reducing speed, with design or equipment measures savings” said MARTECAs Panos Zachariadis.
Regarding the financial issue, a number of speakers providing technology acknowledged owners are asking about financing for retrofits. Some presenters even said their companies can help, especially with the model testing required as retrofits are individual-ship related.
During the summit, a number of important new developments were unveiled for the first time, ranging from EGSC, marine coatings, retrofit solutions two stroke engines, advances in dual fuel engines, BWTS, and modeling and simulation techniques for improving energy efficiency of machinery systems.
Full presentations and illustrations are available on NEWSFRONT / NAFTILIAKIs website