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New Kamsarmax design to slash GHG emissions by 40-50%

Image: Kongsberg BD2634 - Cam - 01 Daytime.jpg
An 82,000 dwt bulk carrier designed jointly by Kongsberg and Finland-based ship design firm, Deltamarin, will ensure through-life carbon intensity indicator (CII) compliance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-50% from day one, the partners claim.

The versatile Kamsarmax bulker, currently a flexible and popular size chosen by many dry bulk operators, is designed for worldwide trading and will be fitted out with latest energy-saving features as well as some entirely new ones developed by the partners. Fuel costs are likely to be cut by around half, it is claimed.

The design will cost around $10 million more than a conventional Kamsarmax bulker today but the investment should pay back within about five years based on average charter rates. Kongsberg Maritime Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Oskar Levander, revealed details of the innovative bulk carrier in Oslo yesterday.

The ‘Super-Efficient Bulker’ will be equipped with a unique combination of three tiltable Norsepower rotor sails and two bound4blue suction sails to harness the greatest benefits of wind energy, Levander explained. Other features include air lubrication, a controllable pitch propeller, a hybrid shaft generator with frequency control, and an intelligent energy management system.

The bulker will have a wider beam than conventional vessels of this size to optimise the impact of air bubbles under the hull. Its design speed will be one knot less than similar ships today to save fuel, emissions, and maintenance costs. The design innovation will ensure that the vessel will comply with future regulations even if shipowners continue to use conventional marine fuels, Levander said.

It highlights the scale of efficiency gains that can be made today with some creative design thinking. The initiative also raises the question of how much scope there may be for similar initiatives to cut carbon emissions on a similar scale from other standard ship types.

“Shipowners face significant challenges in meeting tighter regulations,” Levander declared. “While low carbon fuels are an option, many prefer to stick with conventional fuels. Our goal was to design a vessel capable of complying with predicted CII regulations throughout its lifetime, using advanced energy-saving technologies.”  

Levander revealed that the design could yield cumulative savings in operating costs of EUR 37 million and fuel cost savings of 30-65% depending on trading routes and ship operation.

In an analysis of performance on a route between Rotterdam and Sept-Iles in Canada, for example, fuel consumption could be reduced by about 40%, Levander said. Even greater savings could be achieved by setting estimated times of departure and arrivals and the optimal use of wind devices, he added.

“The project has been a real eye-opener,” said Levander. “The combination of advanced technologies creates significant savings, making our new design a game-changer. With a short payback period of five years, this vessel represents a smart investment for shipowners looing to reduce costs and meet future compliance targets.”