Demo Case

SECA Refit Strategy

As per January 1, 2015, sulphur emissions by ships in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) have been limited substantially, requiring vessels to either switch over to a more expensive low Sulphur fuel or install abatement technologies in order to clean the exhaust gases before they are emitted into the open. Depending on several factors, like overall fuel consumption, investment costs and time spent in these areas, a choice has to be made on the method of compliance to these regulations for each and every individual ship. Technology choices for retrofitting existing ships are further limited by technical and economic factors, since these ships were designed to a different set of constraints.

Wagenborg Shipping owns and operates a large fleet of about 185 mostly general cargo vessels which operate partly in these SECA areas. Due to the nature of the trade the operational profile, even of sister vessels, varies enormously and a prediction of any future operational profile for an individual ship is very unreliable. This makes it impossible to warrant any investment in abatement technologies by traditional calculation methods.

This Demo Case has a number of objectives. Firstly, it tries to identify which methods of compliance are realistic for the fleet of Wagenborg. Boundary conditions like available space and economic aspects will be taken into account. Secondly, a mathematical model will be produced to assess an optimal refit strategy not only for an individual ship, but also for the entire fleet as a group. The economical, ecological, operational and technical effectiveness of each retrofit option will be studied for each of five selected base line vessels. If found appropriate, selected vessels will be retrofitted. The actual retrofit is outside the scope of this project, but the period immediately following is included, as there are many lessons to be learned and these will be fed back into the mathematical model for validation and fine tuning.

During the project, the Balticborg and Bothniaborg were equipped with a Wärtsilä scrubber system. Wagenborg has gained valuable experience with operating the scrubber in emission control areas. Another retrofit is not likely at this moment. Therefore, the project group decided to focus more on evaluating the feasibility of methanol as fuel for one of the ships. This research is currently in full swing.