Design Sprint Days 2021

Some days we’ve had!

The idea ‘Establishing a zero emission Handysize Bulkcarrier’ by Peter Gast Shipping GmbH won the Design Sprint Days competition we issued last december 2020. As a prize a selection of our designers and engineers worked together with them on this idea in a Design Sprint, with the aim of developing a rapid ‘protoype’ to demonstrate the feasibility. Some exciting days we’ve had! 

As we all know, shipping has been, and will be, fundamental for our economy and society and Handy Size bulk carriers play an important role in the transport chain. Unfortunately, the impact of shipping has not been without adverse consequences for the environment. Shipping is not typical regarding this matter, but international shipping is a very large, and if not addressed strongly, growing source of greenhouse gasses.  By now, most of the industries participants realize that the adverse impacts of shipping need to be addressed. The IMO, charterers, banks, all developed policies to reduce the Green House Gas emission of shipping. Operations as we know it, running on HFO or diesel will cease to exist in the (near) future.

There are many potential solutions under development, ranging from Hydrogen, Ammonia, Methanol to full electric battery driven ships to replace the diesel-driven ships and reduce the emission of shipping. Each of these techniques are in different stages of development and have their own uncertainty regarding future fuel prices and availability, effect on OPEX and effect on CAPEX.

At the moment there seems to be no clear “winning strategy”, which is especially true for Handysize bulk carriers operating worldwide in a tramp trade. Some owners bet on bio-methanol, some owners go for Hydrogen and others seem to put their money on ammonia. This leaves shipowners, designers and shipyards with a huge challenge when deciding what type of engines and fuel to use for their newbuilding’s, resulting in a historically low order book for dry bulk carriers.

To assist in solving this impasse we, in close co-operation with ADM, MST/Minship and Peter Gast Shipping, carried out a preliminary design study into the options for a future proof handysize bulk carrier. The work was carried out through a “design sprint.

A design sprint is a time-constrained, five-phase process, with the aim of reducing the risk when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market. Interdisciplinary process, rapid prototyping, and useability testing

Using a sprint approach gives the opportunity to develop a high-level overview of possible solutions in a very short time frame. The following goals were defined as design sprint goals:

  • Develop a Handysize design that is capable of meeting the emission requirements as proposed by IMO, or SeaCargoCharter. From now, until vessel end of life;
  • The vessel is to be based on techniques/solutions that are currently available, i.e. when ordered now, the vessel could be ready for sailing in 2024;
  • The combination of CAPEX, OPEX and voyage costs is to be equal to the costs of the current HFO powered designs;

After an intense week of generating ideas, the design study resulted in a well-considered and validated outline of the most promising solutions, which can be used as a starting point for a tender and basis design package. We look forward to continue working on this project.