A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL approach to containership fuel compliance with the UN's low-sulphur exhaust rule effective January 1, simply will not work, says a top marine engineer.
Speaking at media briefing for the launch of ABS' "Low Carbon Shipping Outlook" at Nor-Shipping 2019, Anders Backlund, senior principal of San Francisco's Herbert Engineering, said the differences in the trades dictate different solutions.
Thus shipping needs a low or zero emission fuel that will encompass a multi-fuel future rather than the one size fits model of the past with heavy bunker oil, Mr Backlund said, reported Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.
"If you look at shortsea shipping as logistics service it competes with land-based shipping, the logistics side of that with batteries you could charge them as they are more often in port," he said.
"Deepsea shipping is a different ball game, I do believe there will different types of solutions for different ship types and different trades. I don't think we will see one solution that covers all," said Mr Backlund.
Herbert Engineering worked with the Spring, Texas-based class society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) on two concept designs for future containerships.
Their report covers a wide variety possible future fuels for shipping including LNG, LPG, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels, batteries, fuel cells, solar, wind, and carbon capture and synthetic fuels.
Said ABS eco chief Gurinder Singh: "The reduction targets for 2030 are challenging but, as they are a measure of carbon intensity, they allow for trade growth. However, any measures taken to meet those goals must also consider 2050 targets if they are to account for the growth in trade and transportation demand while reducing GHG emissions. This will require new technologies."
The future designs worked on with Herbert Engineering featured in the report are for 2,000-TEU and 14,000-TEU ships powered by bio-fuels and hydrogen fuel cells, however, the choice of these two fuels for the study does not mean they will necessarily be the fuels of the future.