Rethinking transportation towards emission free shipping

It almost seems like a different world when we think back on our New Years Reception at the beginning of this year. We hoped to inspire our invitees and lead the way into a new way of thinking about ship design in a time of disruption. Now we are in a completely new form of disruption, one we could never have fathomed. The challenge however remains the same: how can we change or rethink transportation by ship towards zero-emission solutions? 

At our reception we presented the bankability of short sea shipping. Not a new concept of course: all ships are bankable at a certain point. But how do they remain profitable their entire lifespan? The key lays in designing the full lifecycle. Not just for the bank approval. 

Total Cost of Ownership

How do you design for the entire lifecycle? First of all you have to know the total cost of ownership and forecast its future changes. From suppliers to finance, from brokers to build, from shipyard to research. We have been around for quite some time now and know the industry from the inside out. We have learned that by looking further ahead and thinking outside of the box you can design and build a future proof ship. 

Take our eConowind-unit for example. This is a form of wind assisted ship propulsion that we started to think about for almost 10 years ago. Developing and testing it has taken up to 2018. But now we are market-ready. And guess what? The market seems ready too: several orders have been put in recently and the first installation took place not so long ago. Who knows how long until the Ventifoils will be incorporated in all our new designs.

Take LNG for example. Our first steps with seagoing vessels sailing on LNG were already taken in 2003, with the development of the LNG tanker ‘Pioneer Knutsen’. Currently we are investigating the possibilities of capturing CO2 from exhaust gases from LNG fuelled vessels to obtain even less emission. And we are developing a zero-emission concept that can sail completely emission-free by combining VentiFoils with batteries and hydrogen.

The 10-year ship

Fuel and propulsion are of course not the only items to gain efficiency. The entire trim optimization deserves all the naval architects and engineers attention in the design stage. Understanding the sailing profile, influences of the weather, the crew needs, and the possible changes that can be expected. Should we design for 30 years? Or could we design for 15 years or even less? Materials, modularity, current, and future applicable fuels, all these aspects have to be taken into account. Not only does this require knowledge and experience, but also some guts and a ambitious client. Luckily we have always been in good company and have been able to push the boundaries in almost every ship we’ve ever designed.

Now that we are looking forward to beyond 2020 it has forced us to look back at early 2020. This inspires us to share our vision with you in a somewhat different way, through this digital medium. We hope that we can keep driving change and work towards new design principles and innovation with every ship we design.

Watch our reception here: