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V.Ships Leisure: ‘Operational Opportunities’ in Sustainability

“In the past, sustainability was only on the agenda of a few customers. Now it’s a top priority,” said Per Bjornsen, CEO at V.Ships Leisure (pictured, top left), which manages operations for a number of cruise brands.

“There is now a genuine interest in taking those steps, both in the short and long term, and we are here to support our clients,” he said.

Added Matt Dunlop (pictured, top right), director of sustainability and decarbonization: “In the past 12 months there has been a major step change regarding attitude and expectations across the marine industry. Everyone is talking about sustainability and decarbonization, from consumers to lenders.         

“There are ambitions and targets there from the IMO but no blueprint, no roadmap to follow,” he continued.

Thus, Dunlop is representing all of V.Group at the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, which has brought together ship owners and other stakeholders to develop best practices, share data and find solutions.

“There are 30 different greener types of fuel on the table today, there are 40 key energy efficiency solutions, but it’s not one-size fits all. It’s so complex,” Dunlop added.

A new algorithm from the Center can help plan out decarbonization roadmaps, from equipment installation timeline, costs and fuel types and availability, said Dunlop.

“The largest issue the industry will face over the next decade is how to reduce its carbon footprint,” Dunlop explained. “For new vessels this will be driven by the adoption of new technology and fuel types whereas for existing vessels it will be all about optimization and potential energy saving retrofits.”

30 Fuel Options

“Sustainability and decarbonization will cost us all money,” Dunlop continued, noting that while evaluating up to 30 different future fuels, the goal was to make sure they were safe and practical.

Added Bjornsen: “The biggest thing you can do is have modern tonnage, which is just more efficient, and ensure the design is retrofit-ready for future technologies.”

Reduction of plastics is another big item, he said, that has been mostly accomplished, as has the reduction of food waste.

“And there are operational opportunities. We have an energy efficiency program; we can change behavior and monitor the operation. Just mapping the itinerary efficiently and taking into account speed, distance and currents can make a big difference.”

Next up is informing crew and officers of goals and, when fleets have sister ships, data monitoring of energy consumption to enable performance comparisons.

“There is a lot to be done and technical solutions require investment,” Bjornsen said. “We are seeing an increased commitment from our clients in making those investments, supported by ROI analysis both in terms of financial and environmental.”

What are the realistic future fuels?

“LNG is the bridging transitionary fuel,” Dunlop added. “Methanol and methanes are the front-runners that we need to support. But, they are not yet readily available at realistic cost.

“There is a lot to do, and we are ensuring we are preparing for the future.”

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