DFDS’ climate plan will make us climate neutral by 2050. Our short-term plan is to reduce emissions by 45 % from 2008 to 2030. Our main focus is on existing vessels and minor technical upgrades. We will use solutions like correct coating on vessel hulls and decision support systems onboard and in the office. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, with modifications of bulbs and propellers.
The plan is based on careful analysis of how we operate today, and which areas have the greatest potential for improvement. It is about evolution – improving and optimising what we have today – while the long term plan is more of a revolution – how we can do things in completely new ways.
Artificial intelligence will help us
Today, we have a monthly fuel report for our vessel operations, but no insights as to what is behind the numbers. We know what we use, but not how these figures are accumulated. Our crews and their shore-side support teams need better information on how they can operate in a more fuel-efficient way. For this, we will use a tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will monitor our vessel operations. This data will inform us about where we have excessive fuel consumption, both on routes and on individual vessels.
This new smart AI system located on the vessels’ bridge will give the crews qualified directions on what is the right speed and also real-time advice on which route will help the fuel on board last longer. After a crossing, there will be a report on what the crew has done well in terms of consuming fuel, and also where they can improve.
Promising results with methanol
We plan to introduce small amounts of methanol in the existing propulsion machinery on many of our vessels, in the four stroke engines that make up the majority of our fleet. Together with onsite-produced hydrogen, we will inject the methanol into combustion chambers, replacing up to 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil needed to fuel the same voyage today. This technology is still under development and we expect it to be approved by engine manufacturers during 2020. We have already done initial testing and the results look promising.
Through doing this, we hope to be able to push the market demand for sustainable fuels like green methanol, one of several fuel sources we continue to investigate. This could have a positive ripple effect on the development of green fuel production nationally and internally.
More efficient hulls
Optimising our use of fuel is one very important factor when it comes to reducing emissions. Another is what we do to improve the hulls, coating and shaping of the propeller curves for a vessel to be able to sail in a more fuel-efficient manner.
“We are constantly scanning the market to pinpoint new ways of optimising what we have,” says Vice President of DFDS’ Technical Organisation Thomas Mørk. “We continuously assess where we should set in based on where we can harvest the greatest effect. The bottom line is that not only are we saving the environment from thousands of tons of CO2 every year, we are also able to work with fuel consumption in a smarter way. In time, this will help us run our vessels cheaper and greener and that just makes good business sense,” Thomas says.
More on this in the coming weeks