To live up to our vision and mission, we continue to deliver the energy the world needs today while working on solutions for the future. We are doing this through a dual focus on reducing the environmental impact of our current business, and investing in renewable technologies that support a circular and sustainable economy.
We have decreased average emissions per vessel across our businesses. We are on track to meet the IMO’s environmental goal of a 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 and a 50% reduction in total annual GHG emissions by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.
Our fleet has improved on the industry’s two most prominent measures of carbon intensity: Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) and Energy Efficiency Operational Index (EEOI). From 2021 to 2022, as an average across our businesses, AER and EEOI improved by 2.56% and 6.95%, respectively.
Retrofitting Existing Assets
2022 marks the first year the entire BW LPG fleet serves customers with the sector’s lowest emissions profile, reducing our carbon emissions by 27,000 MT or 15%, as compared to using compliant fuel. The new dual fuel engines are the result of the collaboration with key engine manufacturers to use LPG, a cleaner-burning fuel, as part of the transition towards a low-carbon future.
BW LPG is now the world’s largest fleet owner and operator of lower-emission Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs), following the retrofitting completion of 15 of its VLGCs with LPG dual-fuel propulsion engines and the addition of one LPG dual-fuel newbuild in 2022.
With an investment of over USD130 million, these LPG dual-fuel engines have the potential to reduce emissions of Sulfur Oxide (↓ 97%), Particulate Matter (↓ 90%), Carbon Dioxide (↓ 15%) and Nitrous Oxide (↓ 20%). It means that vessels powered by LPG will be in full compliance with current and future Sulfur Oxide (SOx) emission requirements, including for Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs). LPG propulsion also offers efficiency gains on many fronts. Output efficiencies improve by about 11% with LPG when compared with compliant fuels.
In addition to significant improvement in total voyage fuel economics, other efficiencies include easy storage and faster refueling. Bunkering for the retrofitted vessels can be done with reduced spill risk, either directly at the load terminal or via ship-to-ship transfer from a smaller LPG carrier. The dual-fuel capability also provides fuel flexibility, which translates to full redundancy. Dual-fuel allows for uninterrupted operations, and buffers fuel price fluctuations.
While building new ships with LPG propulsion can be beneficial, retrofitting has a much lower carbon cost. The total emissions from retrofitting are about 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, as compared to 70,000 tonnes for materials and the building process for a new vessel.
Investing in technological innovations for operational efficiency
To meet the IMO targets, BW Epic Kosan has invested in technological innovations and improved hull designs that increase power optimization and lower carbon emissions at sea and in ports.
Two vessels will be equipped with ultrasonic transducers in Q2 2023, in a pilot programme to keep their propellors clean and reduce bunker fuel consumption. These transducers produce ultrasonic sound waves that create resonance vibrations in the propeller structure, protecting the surface from fouling larvae. Ultrasonic transducers will also be used to keep the sea chests clean. Annual bunker savings of approximately 1% are expected.
Six vessels have been fitted with carbon impellers for seawater pumps to reduce our overall emissions. Due to their lighter weight, these carbon impellers result in lower energy consumption from seawater pumps. Annual reduction in CO₂ emissions of approximately 25 metric tonnes per vessel is expected.
Weather routing and voyage prognoses
In addition to retrofits, weather routing, and voyage optimisation are performed for all vessels to optimise vessel efficiency. Third-party software is also used by operators and ship staff.
Remote auto-logging sensors
As part of efforts to reduce emissions while ensuring crew and vessel safety, remote auto-logging sensors have been installed on 40 vessels to monitor vessel performance. The live data from the auto-logging sensors enhances performance monitoring, as it improves the data quality over what can be obtained from noon reports, for better evaluation of vessel performance.
Safeguarding the environment with technology
We are actively implementing digitalisation initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of our fleet.
Alpha Ori SMARTShip
We have partnered with Alpha Ori since 2017 to optimise our vessels’ fuel efficiency, monitor our hull efficiency, and detect potential failures early using their SMARTShip system. In addition to BW Group’s investment in Alpha Ori, Hafnia and BW LPG made independent equity investments to accelerate the development. Mikael Skov, CEO Hafnia, has joined Alpha Ori’s board, alongside Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of BW Group.
Alpha Ori’s SMARTShip system contains a patented fuel-saving module that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and multiple variables (e.g. vessel speed, design data) to optimise the total fuel oil consumption (TFOC) over a voyage. By providing the commercial team and shipmaster with recommended speeds between waypoints in real-time, the fuel-saving module can reduce TFOC per voyage by 6% to 10%. The resulting decrease in emissions are also calculated and recorded by the module, allowing the Master to navigate through ECA zones with regulatory compliance.
Another feature of the SMARTShip system is the Automated Hull Performance Monitoring (AHPM) app, which constantly assesses vessels’ hull performance against benchmarks and historical data. Given a specific load and hull condition, users can check fuel consumption at various speeds and clean the hull based on the app’s recommendations.
SMARTShip also encompasses other machine learning and AI applications such as anomaly detection. Its AssetAI module detects potential failure early, prompting maintenance and preventing equipment breakdowns. Through supporting each vessel’s reliable, safe, and cost-efficient operations, AssetAI maximises each vessels’ useful life.
As the sum of the above modules, SMARTShip allows us to consider new operational initiatives, assess their effectiveness, and ultimately make smarter decisions that reduce our CO₂ emissions and improve our efficiency.
Miros Wavex Technology
The Wavex system provides accurate and reliable wave parameters, including 2D-spectrum, surface current magnitude and direction, as well as speed through water calculations. All these output parameters are key to:
- Enhanced hull and propeller performance management
- Speed optimisation to save fuel
- Reduced cost and risk due to weather claims
- Reduced weather-related vessel and cargo damage
Miros Wavex Technology delivers detailed, real-time data on waves, currents and accurate speed through water (STW), marking a step-change in vessel performance management. STW-measuring devices have until now been unreliable. They cannot accurately predict the current at specific locations and times due to the multi-factorial and high-velocity nature of currents. Instead, speed-over-ground is typically used. This is despite the inadequacy of SOG in accounting for the complex movement of water.
Today, Miros Wavex technology has overcome these challenges. After testing on bulk carrier BW Rye for more than a year, BW Group has created a joint venture with Miros called “Miros Mocean” —aimed at promoting this technology within the shipping industry. In 2021, the technology was also installed on LNG Carrier BW Magnolia. With accurate STW data, we can now make the right trade-offs between fuel and speed.