SEEMP - A new strategy to reduce bunker bills
13th September 2012 09:55 GMT

With mandatory measures from the IMO on SEEMP coming into effect from January 2013, ship owners and operators can expect a fundamental impact on the operating of their vessels. Pressure towards adopting clean technology - both for retrofit and new build vessels - is expected to grow substantially. The current economic climate is proving to be a catalyst for proactive ship owners who are choosing to stay ahead of the game by increasingly choosing energy efficiency technologies. As the industry remains competitive during these strained times, retrofit technology is coming into force much more prominently.

For existing ship owners and operators, the introduction of SEEMP into operating procedures could mean significant savings across entire fleets. Actions that can be taken to improve operational efficiencies of both new and existing vessels as part of SEEMP include, but are not limited to the use of measurement tools to gauge fuel efficiency accurately - such as an onboard trim optimization solution, speed optimization, the training of personnel and hull maintenance.

Despite such a wealth of opportunities being available, the question still remains as to whether the industry is ready to take up the challenge of stricter regulation.

One potential aspect of energy-saving rests with the vessel's propulsion system, where opportunities for improvement could lie in investing in new engines or switching to LNG.  But viability of these alternatives is still under consideration. An alternative cost-efficient option could be to take greater control over the way fleets and individual vessels are managed, thus enabling crews to optimize their performance and efficiency according to the particular conditions they find themselves in at any given time. This is the type of strategy Eniram’s customers have adopted in their endeavours to run a more efficient fleet. They believe in real-time, cutting-edge technology to measure, monitor and minimize the baseline energy consumption; thereby gauging real-time benefits through ship management software.

A recent study by Eniram indicates that 3-5% energy savings can be seen over a sustained period of time through minimizing hull resistance with brushing and anti fouling treatments. Despite a sense that some navigating officers may be tentative about trim optimization technology as it brings into question their own operating ability, there has been considerable interest in the industry around this technology. Eniram collected information on a VLCC over a period of 450 sea days, sailing between the Middle East and the Gulf of Mexico. Real-time data from onboard sensors, together with dynamic data retrieved from operational vessel management applications, allowed the vessel operator to assess the impact of sailing at non-optimal trim in terms of propulsion power consumption and fuel use. Eniram then reported that the trial revealed a scope for savings of 2.6% in annual fuel costs through dynamic trim optimization alone. This translates to $482,000 (730 tonnes of fuel) annually.

Equally of note were the findings relating to the effect of added resistance as a result of hull fouling. Data collected in the study found that the impact of fouling on the VLCC grew by 2.9% during the study period. The average impact on propulsion power consumption was 1.5%, translating to $277,000 (420 tonnes of fuel) annually. By using real-time performance analysis indicated by Eniram to make operational adjustments, ship owners and operators can expect to experience the benefits within 30-90 days from the start of the project.

There is a concern among ship owners and operators that SEEMP could add unwanted hours to the already busy schedules of officers, while conversely, environmentalists are dissatisfied, since they fear that SEEMP will have little impact on reducing emissions due to its lack of targets for increasing efficiency and it's focus on reporting rather than action. In spite of this, the potential savings to be made - both financially and environmentally - mean that SEEMP represents an opportunity for ship owners to accelerate their operational efficiency whilst meeting the regulatory challenges in the long run.

Noël Jelsma,
13th September 2012 09:55 GMT

Comments on this Blog
Heinz Otto
18th September 2012
Hi Noel,
as you said it: there is a fear, that SEEMP takes to long time for reducing the GHG from ships. Therefore is any EURO wasted money to get 3 % energy savings on the old ways, just data controlled by ERINAM. What the world need, and this is not only a phrase from "conservative environmentalists", but from climate scientist, like : Take the power of the wind, whereever you can and half of the problem might be solved.
greetings from Heinz Otto,
Heinz Otto
21st November 2012
Hi Noel and Will,
SEEMP is a long time period project, we all can imagine.
On the other hand is the worldbank with there new study about the problem of climate change and the time pressure to act, to act better yesterday than today.
Therefor the shipping world have to start with the use of the windpower to drive their ships. And if no one of the owners is reasonable, the goverments have to press and to help, to build a ship with sailing a rig, like Dynarig or falconrig or Pintarig.
Have a look to: .
regards from
Graham Taylor
14th February 2013
Hi everyone

When was the last time you changed a flourescent light tube on a VLCC or new design passenger ship?, and what was the wattage of that light bulb? (lets say 36w) and what was the manufacturers usefull life span of that light bulb?,(lets say 8,000hrs) and how long each day was that light bulb on? (lets say 24hrs) and how much did that light bulb cost to buy? (lets say $5.00), and how many times had that light bulb been changed in 1 year,(lets say 1 time) and how many litres of fuel in kwh monetary terms did that light bulb use up per year?(lets say 365kwh per year), and how much did that fuel cost per kw? (lets say $0.10c/kw).

How much will flourescent lamps cost to run per year on a VLCC ($25,550)
How much will a new type of flourescent lamp cost to run per year on a VLCC ($5,550)

how much will flourescent lamps cost to run on a new build passenger ship.($1,825,000)
How much will a new type of flourescent lamp cost to run per year on a new build passenger ship ($365,000)

and how many men or women does it take to change a flourescent light bulb over a period of 6 years (6)

and how many men or women does it take to change a new type flourescent light bulb over a period of 6 years (1)
Caroline Clarke
10th August 2013
The SEEMP illuminates the installation base line which gives way to putting forward compelling cases as to perhaps regard what other savings could be applied to employ other measures with designs as to fit for purpose addressing the installation. To regard the details presented by the good Mr Taylor. We too have undertaken a study to quantify and communicate sustainable project development (sector based - spat and temp) which canvasses behaviour change - slow steaming. The results concluded as to extend an invitation to interested parties for a copy to email All the best kind regards Caroline

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