“With crude oil prices at their lowest since April 2009, the temptation is to put your foot on the gas and speed up a bit but this is not the way forward. When oil prices are low shipowners can benefit more fully from energy-saving technologies, ” said Hakan Ozcan, the Chief Financial Officer of Ecoships, the technical ship management arm of Newport Shipping Group,
“Admittedly bunker fuel will continue to be the largest single operational cost for shipowners, but with fuel prices continuing to drop, profit and loss accounts will improve, providing owners with the resources needed to re-invest in new ship designs, equipment and technologies capable of reducing fuel consumption even further. It’s a win-win situation for the merchant fleet.”
Whilst Ozcan does not suggest that the industry embarks on the kind of newbuilding spending spree that will prolong or perpetuate over-capacity, he does believe shipowners have a commercially-viable opportunity to replace ageing, less efficient tonnage with vessels capable of meeting increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
“It just makes economic sense. It is highly unlikely that we will see a return to fast steaming, so vessels designed for low fuel consumption to minimise shipping’s impact on the environment will continue to be an integral part of the ship manager’s business model.”
Harald Lone, Newport Shipping Group’s Chairman and CEO, confirmed that vessels under the company’s management will continue to operate sustainably.
“All our vessels continue to operate to optimum energy-efficiency and have systems installed capable of providing a better return for the owner. The industry must continue to do all it can to operate ships more effectively so that the economics of shipping remain commercially and environmentally viable.”
The energy-efficient bulk carrier design Ecoships’ unveiled in September last year is indicative of the shipmanager’s commitment to sustainable shipping.
The Green Lotus 32 is a 32, 500dwt geared, wide-hatched, double-hulled bulk carrier designed to meet existing and future CO2, NOx and SOx emissions regulations.
Its 170.90m long, 27m wide hull form, optimised for energy efficient operation using computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis, has a propulsion arrangement based around a Tier III compliant MAN B&W SG50ME-B9 two-stroke main engine driving a large diameter, fixed pitch propeller.
This configuration provides a heavy fuel oil consumption of just 15.6t/day at a service speed of 14kn and 7.6 t/day at 11kn.