New bulker design ‘promises fuel cost savings between 40-50%’ on conventional bunkers, says Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime has unveiled a design based on an 82,000 DWT Kamsarmax bulker which it says ‘promises fuel cost savings between 40-50%’ operating on conventional marine fuels.

In a statement issued today (13 June), Kongsberg Maritime said the ‘Super-Efficient Bulker’ vessel design concept, developed with Deltamarin, ‘demonstrates compliance with future regulations is achievable even when using conventional fuels.’

‘Ship owners face significant challenges in meeting tighter regulations. While low-carbon fuels are an option, many prefer to stick with conventional fuels,’ said Oskar Levander, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Kongsberg Maritime. ‘Our goal was to design a vessel capable of complying with predicted CII regulations throughout its lifetime, using advanced energy-saving technologies.’

Explaining the reason for selecting a Kamsarmax bulker of 82,000 DWT, Kongsberg Maritime said the vessel type represents a versatile choice ‘as it often faces restrictions with the global availability of low-carbon fuels’, thus making it an ‘ideal candidate’ for the study.

The new vessel concept is based on a unique combination of three tiltable rotor sails and two suction wing sails.

‘This hybrid wind technology approach offers the best of both worlds, making the vessel more versatile and efficient,’ said Henrik Sjöblom from Kongsberg Maritime’s Concepts and Advisory.

Additionally, Kongsberg Maritime has devised an innovative hull form that will trap bubbles, from an air lubrication system, to maximise the effects of resistance reduction and a patent application has been made to implement this concept. By trapping air bubbles beneath the hull, Kongsberg Maritime says the system ‘significantly reduces frictional resistance’. The inclined hull, with a 1-degree slope from bow to stern, and vertically turned bilge keels create ‘walls’ to keep bubbles in place, enhancing fuel savings.

The vessel has also been designed to operate at a reduced speed, with Kongsberg noting that a 1-knot speed reduction ‘contributes to substantial savings in fuel, emissions, and maintenance costs.’

Other features include the integration of a Hybrid Shaft Generator with frequency control, optimising electrical power usage and reducing emissions; and an Intelligent Energy Management System (iEMS) and route optimisation software, that ensures optimal energy use, further enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing operational costs. To maintain the hull’s cleanliness and further minimise resistance, the vessel is also fitted with a Hull Skater, which also contributes to maintaining low fuel consumption during operation.

‘This project has been a real eye-opener. The combination of advanced technologies creates significant savings, making our new design a game-changer,’ said Levander. ‘With a short payback period of five years, this vessel represents a smart investment for ship owners looking to reduce costs and meet future compliance targets. At Kongsberg, we are committed to integrating the best technologies to drive the maritime industry towards a cleaner, more efficient future.’

Rhys Berry