Sustainability has become more important than ever and an increasingly dominant part of the discussion publicly, politically and with our customers. We embrace this, as we believe a sustainable value chain can only be achieved by collaboration between all stakeholders.
Our path to achieve cleaner operations is based on three pillars: 1) operational performance, 2) innovative systems and 3) efficient ship design. With a focus on optimising speed against energy used, we can significantly improve the emissions per tonne-mile. We closely follow developments in energy savings related to vessel equipment and systems and apply them wherever possible. With the application of fresh insights in propulsion and hull optimisation, new designs will be even more energy efficient. A recent example of ship optimisation is the pilot project where the bulbous bow of m.v. Pauwgracht was altered. This vessel, together with her nine sister P-Type vessels, had originally been designed for a different trade. A redesign of the bulb section was performed to optimise the bulb for our operational profile. Various slender bulb shapes were designed and tested in an extensive simulation study to see their expected performance while sailing in waves. The most effective bulb was then selected and installed on m.v. Pauwgracht. Currently we are monitoring the performance improvement and evaluating the results. While this requires some long-term monitoring, the first results look promising. The most important question, however, will be which fuel will bring significant reduction in environmental impact from well to tank to wake. We support the developments, follow them closely, and keep our options open with regard to these fuels of the future. It is worth noting that we are very dependent on these developments when it comes to achieving the future targets concerning environmental impact reduction. At the time of writing this article, our MC-Class vessel m.v. BigLift Baffin is running a trial using a biofuel – fossil fuel mix to evaluate the use of bio fuel on aspects as costs, availability and emission reduction. To reduce the risks of price fluctuations and fuel quality and to reduce the environmental impact of our fleet, we decided to equip our fleet with exhaust gas cleaning systems. This worked out well and we are proud that we have already been able to make a significant contribution to cleaner air emissions by the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems, while, at the same time, the scrubber wash water still meets the strictest water quality standards. We will continue to reduce our environmental footprint, together with the other members of Spliethoff Group. We endeavour to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction target set by the IMO and hope we can achieve even more. Decarbonising the shipping industry will be a huge challenge and will require a large investment from all stakeholders. This investment may not lead to any short-term monetary gains but will pay off in a more sustainable planet for the centuries to come. We very much look forward to working together and challenging each other in the matter of sustainability in the years to come. Please follow the link below to view the latest sustainability report of Spliethoff Group, which offers a more detailed overview of our efforts on this topic.