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Future shipping fuels were discussed in Almedalen

06 July 2018

Lighthouse's seminar in Almedalen was about the shipping fuels of the future and attracted between 40 and 50 listeners to the Maritime Meeting place.

Dick Höglund from Terntank explained how they, among other things, work with exhaust gas cleaning and reduced fuel consumption. At the moment they are joining forces with the port of Gothenburg and IVL, and looks into how they can mix biofuels into the older vessels' engines, a project that involves both costs and logistics.

"Furetank has shown that it works to mix biogas into LNG and that is something we also must also look at for oyr future ships," said Dick Höglund.

Lessons from Norway
Dick also said that Sweden can learn from Norway in terms of environmentally differentiated fees.

- The cost of developing eco-friendly ships with advanced technology is 30% higher than the cost of traditional ships. Norway has taken antremendously bigger step to improve the system of environmentally friendly ships. There we have much left to learn. Sweden has only reached 20% of the discount we reach in Norway, said Dick Höglund.

Fuel savings using AI
In terms of fossil free shipping, Stena is working with two main ideas. One concerns efficiency improvements and how to use less fuel. The other is about evaluating the type of fuel and energy used.

Stena aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 2.5% per nautical mile and year. At the moment, the company is working to provide decision support for its crew for each individual route to save fuel. Stena collects data from 70 measurement points from several different ships, which are then analyzed using artificial intelligence.

Methane operations on Stena Germanica and land power-connected ships also contribute to fuel savings and, in addition, a battery project is in progress, which hopefully will take Stena Jutlandica all the way from Göteborg to Fredrikshavn on battery power.

"In order to reach fossil free shipping, we need fair competition and compliance with the relevant regulations from the sector. A harmonization of tax rates and fees in the EU for land power and a bonus to first movers is required", said Erik Lewenhaupt.

Research on shipping fuels
LNG, biodiesel, electric power, hybrids, methanol are energy carriers currently available on a commercial scale for shipping. Further down the development stages there are more applications with electricity, methanol and, for example, fuel cells. Recently ammonia has been mentioned as possible fuel for shipping, but according to Chalmers Professor Karin Andersson, much more research is needed before ammonia can be an alternative.

"Ammonia is at the bottom of the idea stage, you know that you can operate a diesel engine on it. But nobody has come long enough with the technology, and nobody knows what's happening with other emissions. It is a long journey before we can show that ammonia is sustainable. We want to do research on ammonia but no one is funding the research right now."

System studies are required
Karin Andersson believes that more system studies are needed to find sustainable ways ahead and more research on combustion engines and new fuels is needed. Research on how to produce fuels both economically and energy-efficiently is also required.

"There are amazing ideas on how to make syntheses of new fuels at the lab stage. But how do you reach a larger production scale? That needs research and funding to find out", Karin Andersson said.

The Swedish Energy Agency's shipping program
The Swedish Energy Agency has launched a new shipping program this year. The program covers 83 million SEK over a 5-year period and there is now a first call for 15 million SEK.

"We also have other initiatives that link to shipping within the Swedish Energy Agency. If you are using biofuels, there are programs worth 180 million SEK in the area up to year 2021. In this specific shipping program we want work with the industry, so maybe the call will be worth 30 million SEK in the end", said Rémy Kolessar from the Energy Agency.

Watch the seminar here (in Swedish)

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