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German owner prepares for 2024 regs with Yara fuel optimisation

Photo: Yara Marine HELEN N + HUGO N 1[77].jpg
German bulk operator Neu Seeschiffahrt has agreed to fit Yara Marine Technology’s FuelOpt system to all six of its VLOCs and its two newly acquired Newcastlemax vessels in 2024, as the Norwegian tech company looks to capitalise on new emissions regulations.

FuelOpt is a hybrid hardware and software combination system which accumulates data from sensors around the vessel and then optimises the engine settings using the master’s parameters that he/she inputs into the system.

Fuel savings of 3-5% are possible using FuelOpt, according to Yara, who also highlighted the fact that the greater the vessel’s consumption the bigger the savings.

That means, explained chief sales officer for Yara Marine Technologies Aleksander Askeland, that if a charterer wanted the vessel to go faster to its destination, the speed could be pre-set and the FuelOpt would select the most efficient voyage settings.

Askeland points out, however, that the “Higher speeds will mean more fuel consumption, though if the ship is already operating at higher speeds, then that would also mean the savings would be greater.”

As such the FuelOpt system will see larger savings on high consumption vessels such as container ships. Though Askeland points out the system can work on any vessel type, with the company having fitted the system to 350 vessels already, including some feeder vessels, but he admits that, so far, the larger liner operators have not yet been tapped.

That is more about the origins of FuelOpt, which was developed in Sweden and Yara bought the company in 2021, but its customers so far reflect the company’s origins.

Demand is expected to grow next year with the increasing regulatory pressure being put on owners to record and submit verifiable reports on fuel consumption and emissions, not only for the carbon intensity indicator (CII) regulation, but also for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, for those vessels operating within EU waters.

FuelOpt automatically logs all performance and navigational data into a ship’s fleet management software, whether that is Yara technology or a third-party system,

William Wallace, MD and COO at Neu Seeschiffahrt, said: “Reducing fuel consumption without sacrificing efficiency is the simplest route to futureproofing cost-effective and sustainable operations.”

Moreover, the FuelOpt system is part of a modular suite of systems that can be built on, with an addition that can sense when power saving technology is operating, such as wind power or air lubrication and will automatically adjust the engine output to reduce fuel consumption.

This technology has been fitted to the Mitsubishi owned Pixus Ocean and Berge Bulk’s Berge Olympus which are both fitted with the BAR Technologies rigid sail systems.

Yara is also set announce the Via Kaizen artificial intelligence technology that will automate the voyage planning system.

Developed in co-operation with industry, including class society DNV and Molflow as well as three academic institutions Chalmers University, Halmstad University and the University of Gothenburg.

The Via Kaizen project, which received funding from the Swedish Transport Administration Trafikverket, is a semi-autonomous machine learning technology that can further improve the FuelOpt system.