Decarbonisation and pathway ahead come under shipowner spotlight at inaugural Elaborate Communications Summit in Athens

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The uncertainty surrounding the use of alternative fuels and the multitude of solutions available to shipowners to cut their vessel emissions, dominated discussions at the first Elaborate Communications Decarbonisation Summit in Athens.

The three hour conference, held in front of 120 Greek shipowners, managers, manufacturers and classification societies, outlined the current policy landscape and regulation before discussing the emerging technologies and alternative fuels currently available.

A hard-hitting panel, moderated by Professor Dimitris Lyridis, an Associate Professor in the area of Maritime Transport in the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NA&ME) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), also discussed the funding mechanisms and financial incentives for the various decarbonisation projects.

Delegates heard Stamatis Fradelos, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at ABS, talk about the regulations moving forward for environmental protection and maritime safety and he suggested that emissions were still increasing despite slow steaming. The target of 70% reduction in emissions by 2040 would be a tough ask, he hinted.

Lefteris Koukoulopoulos, Regional Decarbonisation Specialist at DNV, said that while conventional ships would continue to be built relying on speed reduction, vessel routing and hull coatings as well as machinery improvements to reduce energy consumption, onboard carbon capture and storage can reduce the demand for carbon-neutral fuels.

Peter Borgnaes from Alfa Laval’s Environmental Solutions Marine Division, outlined his company’s OceanGlide technology – which pumps air bubbles around the hull. “OceanGlide doesn’t just pump air under the vessel. Using fluidics, it creates an actual air layer – with much higher efficiency. That air layer covers the vessel’s entire flat bottom. And because of how it’s produced, it can be fully controlled and optimised,” he said.

Hydrus was also in attendance with its Senior Engineer Nikolaos Christopoulos outlining the Decarbonisation Strategy Roadmap, while George Ntroulias, Business Development Director, joined the debate on the financing round table.

Wärtsilä’s Truls-Magnus Lindseth, talked about the importance of carbon capture while his colleague Giorgos Samoilis introduced the audience to its EnergoFlow system, which is an innovative, robust and cost-effective pre-swirl stator that increases fuel efficiency without increasing maintenance needs.

Captain Pankaj Sharma, Group Director of Digital Performance at The Columbia Group, told delegates that its EngineLink engine digitisation tool was an innovative cost-effective game-changer for ship owners and ship managers. “With its smart data capabilities, EngineLink can transform Fleet Monitoring, Engine Condition Assessment, and Emission Tracking, catering to the customised needs of clients regardless of the type of machinery on-board or engine room layout. It has successfully been installed on over 300 vessels, making it a holistic solution that adapts to meet customer expectations,” he said.

Pictured (left to right) are: Stamatis Fradelos, Lefteris Koukoulopoulos, Peter Borgnaes, Truls-Magnus Lindseth, and Giorgos Samoilis.

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