The shipping industry is taking the climate challenge head-on, and designers are combining the best green energy technologies and efficiency enhancements to set new records in eco-friendly shipping. A new joint project sets an example.

In response to the IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Oshima Shipbuilding and classification society DNV GL have signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement to conduct research and development together on new bulk carrier designs. The first design, the “Oshima Ultramax 2030”, reduces the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) by 50 percent. Developed together with technology group Wärtsilä, it was introduced at Nor-Shipping 2019 in Oslo.

Shipowners can now have vessels that are affordable, compliant with the IMO’s 2030 emission targets and have high operational efficiency. Meet the Ultramax 2030 65K DWT Bulk Carrier.

Zero emissions scenario:

The all-new Ultramax 2030 65K DWT Bulk Carrier is a dream vessel that meets future emissions legislation while being optimized according to actual operating profiles both at sea and in port. This 200m ship has a range of LNG of about 13,600 n.m. at service speed which covers the main trading patterns worldwide with the LNG bunkering infrastructure available today. It gives shipowners the comfort of having more than 20% lower operating expenses (OPEX) when compared with standard vessels operating today and has an approximate payback time of twelve years compared to a standard vessel.


Maximizing efficiency, minimizing emissions:

The Ultramax 2030 65K DWT Bulk Carrier has a 60m-tall hard sail made of Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GRP) and comes in two options – a two-stroke LNG-fuelled option and a four-stroke LNG-fuelled version. Both options promise an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) of more than -46% compared to EEDI Phase 0 while maintaining a service speed of 14.5 km. The four-stroke version utilizes a Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP) to allow a smaller installed power and still maintain maneuverability of the ship in adverse weather conditions without overloading the main engine. The lower installed power not only means savings in costs but also that the main engine can be operated at higher engine loads at higher efficiency levels.

“There are now two options for the propulsion machinery. The standard arrangement for Ultramax bulk carriers today is to utilize a two-stroke engine with an FPP (Fixed Pitch Propeller), so, therefore, this is still an option. The second option with a Wärtsilä 12V31DF four-stroke main engine connected to a CPP is not a standard arrangement, but it turned out to be a competitive alternative. Based on the analysis we did on the AIS data from Ultramax bulk carriers we could see that actual operation is at a wide speed range with most of the operating hours at lower ship speeds with low engine loads. The Wärtsilä 31DF engine uses a two-stage turbocharger, which in addition to increasing engine efficiency also increases engine efficiency at part loads. The lower the ship speeds the more competitive the Wärtsilä 31DF engine option gets compared to the standard two-stroke engine option”, says Kackur.

For both main engine options, shaft generators are used to cover the hotel load. Shaft generators run by the main engine offers superior efficiency compared to using small auxiliary gensets. While the shaft generator for the two-stroke option is a slow-speed generator installed on the propeller shaft the shaft generator for the four-stroke option is a high-speed generator connected through the reduction gearbox. The shaft generator for the four-stroke alternative can also be used in port, meaning it offers the possibility to install fewer auxiliary generators.

“Various alternative fuels were considered, but LNG is today the most developed alternative fuel widely available. The use of LNG makes it possible to drastically reduce emission levels and comply with the coming emission legislations. We are fully aware that LNG may not be the fuel of choice for a zero-carbon future, but we cannot just sit and wait for a perfect solution to arrive. By using the best available technology already available we can make significant progress now already,” explains Kackur.

The Ultramax 2030 65K DWT is powered by solar panels and batteries to produce energy in the most efficient manner. Almost all of the hatch cover area is covered with solar panels, which help to achieve higher efficiency levels.  During waiting times, the carrier can operate in an eco-mode where the hotel load is minimized so that most of the hotel load can be covered by the solar panels only. A battery is installed to reduce engine running hours, optimize and stabilize the engine loading levels boosting the efficiency to even higher levels.

The design also includes the option to install a hard sail to generate extra propulsion. The hard sail system is being developed jointly by Oshima Shipbuilding and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The Ultramax 2030 65K DWT Bulk Carrier is not the only joint project Wärtsilä is developing. The company is actively looking to cooperate on design evolution and innovation, working with partners that have complementary domain expertise and can bridge gaps in competencies. Collaborations like these can help overcome challenges and bring in new technologies to create world-class solutions.

After all, the best collaborations create something bigger than the sum of what each partner can create on their own. – Your one-stop solution for freight software needs.

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