Kongsberg Maritime uses LNG fuel and other eco-friendly features to future-proof container feeders. “We are undergoing an unprecedented fuel transition. Shipowners need to know that their vessels will evolve with advances in clean fuel technology. Our design concept assures them they will,” says Oskar Levander, SVP of Business Concepts at Kongsberg Maritime.
The shipping industry must decarbonise if it is to achieve the IMO target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. However, there are no guidelines for how to achieve this.
“The shipping container business is booming, but nobody wants to buy a vessel that won’t comply with environmental regulations and market conditions in 10 to 15 years from now. The problem is, we can’t predict what those will be,” says Levander.
Kongsberg Maritime has designed a 2000 TEU container feeder that runs on LNG fuel with the option to adopt cleaner fuels as they become available.
“Conventional LNG is the best alternative right now, but we need to move from fossil fuels to low-carbon fuels. In the maritime industry, we will most likely see a diversity of clean fuel options – from biofuels to synthetic LNG and green ammonia. Our container feeder can run on any of these,” says Levander.
In addition, the company has chosen an open-top design with a larger hull than conventional container feeders. “This makes the containers adaptable to future fuels that may need more tank space. The design also requires less ventilation in the cargo hold, which saves energy as well,” he explains.
Moreover, Kongsberg Maritime has added a hybrid shaft generator as a power takeout (PTO) to save energy. “Container ships require more engine power than other vessels. By reducing the number of auxiliary engines in use, our vessels become more efficient, less costly and have less environmental impact,” says Levander.
Customers can also choose to add wind and battery power for even lower emissions. “Our concept will allow shipowners to maintain their carbon intensity indicator (CII) A-rating with the IMO for a least 10 years. By adopting LNG, PTO and wind technologies, ship emissions will decrease by 36 per cent compared with conventional MGO-fuelled vessels,” says Levander.
He expects that vessels can achieve an 85 per cent reduction in emissions after transitioning to the greenest fuel alternatives.
Kongsberg Maritime’s design has a financial upside as well. OPEX is estimated to decline by 37 per cent, and while CAPEX will increase due to machinery costs, the large cost savings means that the capital investment can be paid off in two to five years.
Pressure to decarbonise will continue to grow. The IMO, for example, is expected to adopt a revised greenhouse gas emissions strategy in 2023, setting stricter emissions targets. The EU and national governments have similar targets.
“While we don’t know exactly what future regulations will be, we do know that they will become stricter over time. Shipowners are feeling this sense of urgency and seeking solutions to stay competitive. I can say with confidence that we provide the most flexible and advanced ship design for a low-carbon future,” says Levander.
Kongsberg Maritime is an international leader in maritime technology, providing innovative, reliable and sustainable “full picture” solutions for all marine industry sectors. Headquartered in Norway, Kongsberg Maritime has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 34 countries.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Kongsberg Maritime’s container feeder concept reduces emissions and fossil fuel consumption in the shipping industry.