DFDS outlines methanol plans

As previously reported by Ship.Energy sister publication Bunkerspot, alongside its long-term 2050 climate neutral goal, DFDS also has a short-term plan to reduce emissions by about 45% from 2008 to 2030.

In a statement issued on its website yesterday (8 September), DFDS said: ‘Our main focus is on existing vessels and minor technical upgrades. We will use solutions like correct coating on vessel hulls and decision support systems onboard and in the office. But the fleet will also undergo major upgrades, with modifications of bulbs and propellers.

‘The plan is based on careful analysis of how we operate today, and which areas have the greatest potential for improvement. It is about evolution – improving and optimising what we have today – while the long term plan is more of a revolution – how we can do things in completely new ways.’

Turning to the issue of alternative marine fuels, DFDS said that it had seen ‘promising results with methanol’ and then added: ‘We plan to introduce small amounts of methanol in the existing propulsion machinery on many of our vessels, in the four stroke engines that make up the majority of our fleet.

‘Together with onsite-produced hydrogen, we will inject the methanol into combustion chambers, replacing up to 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil needed to fuel the same voyage today.

‘This technology is still under development and we expect it to be approved by engine manufacturers during 2020. We have already done initial testing and the results look promising.’

DFDS said it hoped that its efforts could help to ‘push the market demand for sustainable fuels like green methanol’.

The shipowner also plans to use artificial intelligence to improve its ship efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

‘Today,’ said DFDS, ‘we have a monthly fuel report for our vessel operations, but no insights as to what is behind the numbers. We know what we use, but not how these figures are accumulated. Our crews and their shore-side support teams need better information on how they can operate in a more fuel-efficient way. For this, we will use a tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will monitor our vessel operations. This data will inform us about where we have excessive fuel consumption, both on routes and on individual vessels.’

In addition, DFS said it will be working on plans to optimise its ships’ hulls – which will include a focus on coatings and the shaping of the propeller curves – to achieve more fuel-efficiency.

‘We are constantly scanning the market to pinpoint new ways of optimising what we have,’ said Thomas Mørk, Vice President of DFDS’ Technical Organisation.

‘We continuously assess where we should set in based on where we can harvest the greatest effect. The bottom line is that not only are we saving the environment from thousands of tons of CO2 every year, we are also able to work with fuel consumption in a smarter way. In time, this will help us run our vessels cheaper and greener and that just makes good business sense.’

Click here to access more information on the DFDS Climate Plan.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor