Seafarers Speak Out on Oily Water Separators

By Wendy Laursen 2015-06-01 00:43:30

Preliminary results from a six-month study on the effectiveness of oily water separators indicate seafarers have some serious complaints about an onboard technology that can land them in jail.

The discharge of oily water from a ship is a serious criminal offence, yet seafarers find the equipment designed to prevent such discharges challenging. In a few rare cases, they resort to magic pipes to bypass the oily water separator itself or to fraudulent paperwork to bypass the regulations that govern it.

A new study is underway to see what can be done to improve shipboard oily waste management. MAX1 Studies is a six-month study commissioned by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and managed by the maritime consultancy firm Martin & Ottaway. The study looks at all shipboard waste stream management, but explores machinery space waste streams and oily water separators in particular depth as a case study.

Some of the seafarer comments obtained in the study point to the human element:

“People are scared of the possibility of fines/jail time for violating accidentally. A lot of times, the oily water separator is not run out of fear. Teach everyone how to properly use and care for one,” said one survey respondent.

“Make them simpler and documentation easier, especially in the oil record book. Crews are in absolute panic for even documentary mistakes as they believe they will be viewed as criminals even if the mistake is genuine or minor,” says another.

“Too many companies use the oil record book as a threat to mariners. Teaching methods to make entries streamlined and simple is more effective than telling your employees that they’ll go to jail for making a mathematical error.”

Some seafarers taking the survey pointed to equipment design failings:

“In older ships, more than 10 years old, leakages do tend to increase, and are at times unavoidable. Hence sludge and waste oil/bilge water tanks with adequate capacity should be provided for collection to discourage illegal disposal by the ship’s crew.”

“Most separators do not function properly with the volume of sludge needed to be processed on the vessels I have been on.”

“Often the as-fitted piping arrangements are not 100 percent in accordance with manufacturers’ drawings.”

“Onboard storage and holding capacities are too often inadequate, but the worst problem is the significant lack of economical shore-based reception facilities for ALL types of waste.”

Rik van Hemmen President and Senior Partner at Martin & Ottaway, says environmental functions on board ships continue to expand. Meanwhile, evidence based on a continual stream of noted violations indicates that some operators continue to have problems with machinery space waste stream management. The number of regulations and procedures is increasing, and this paperwork has resulted in resentment and loss of focus by all stakeholders, he says.

Resolution of these problems will require a combination of improvements in technology, operational practices, training and human factors considerations, says van Hemmen. This study endeavors to bring together all stakeholders in order to develop best practices on all of these fronts.

A conference with all interested parties will be held on June 24, 2015 in North Carolina. The main objective of the conference will be to engage stakeholders in discussions and deliberations regarding the path forward for machinery space waste stream management.

The conference agenda is available here.


Tokyo’s February exports drop

Exports from Tokyo port fell in February as 991,464 tonnes of cargo were shipped out, down 12.4% year on year (y/y).
Imports were up 5.2% y/y to 2.565 million tonnes, according to figures released by the Tokyo metropolitan government on 29 May.
The Port of Tokyo saw its cargo traffic rise 1.3% in

Successful Sea Trial of Rotor Sail

By MarEx 2015-05-31 20:37:41

Norsepower Oy and Bore have announced the successful sea trial of Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution, a new wind propulsion technology for ships. The sea trials, verified by NAPA and supported by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, confirm fuel savings of 2.6 percent using a single small Rotor Sail on a route in the North Sea.

Based on the trials, Norsepower and Bore believe that a full system on Estraden with two rotors has the potential to deliver 5 percent efficiency savings on an ongoing basis. Norsepower forecasts savings of 20 percent for vessels with multiple, large rotors traveling in favourable wind routes.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution was installed on the 9,700 DWT Ro-Ro carrier MS Estraden. Owned by Bore, the leading Finnish Ro-Ro Shipping Company, MS Estraden operates in a continuous service between the Netherlands and the U.K., sailing through the North Sea’s windy corridors at speeds of 16 knots.

“The successful trials of our wind technology are a ground-breaking moment not only for Norsepower, and also the wider development of wind propulsion technology for shipping. The results suggest that when Norsepower’s technology is implemented at scale, it can produce up to 20 percent net savings in fuel costs with a payback period of less than four years at current fuel prices, confirming that wind technologies are commercially-viable solutions that reduce fuel and carbon emissions in the industry,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower.

The trials were measured and analyzed with continuous monitoring systems from maritime data analysis, software and services provider, NAPA and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland collected data over a six-month period, during which both the Rotor Sail technology and automation system was operational 99 percent of the time. The results confirmed that Norsepower’s rotor is able to produce large amounts of thrust force, which enables considerable fuel savings.

Reinforcing VTT’s findings, NAPA conducted a randomized trial that found clear and significant savings, despite largely calm weather conditions throughout the study. After establishing a baseline profile of the vessel in normal operation, the Rotor Sail was activated and de-activated at random intervals to verify that any measured effect was solely due to the sail, and that any benefit was measurable across the vessel’s operating profile. The average verified fuel savings during the trial in NAPA’s analysis was 2.6 percent. The trial was conducted using ClassNK-NAPA GREEN, the vessel performance monitoring and verification software developed by NAPA and ClassNK, the world’s leading class society.

“As impartial data analysis and verification is vital for charterers and shipowners looking to retrofit efficiency technology onto vessels, we used both randomized trialing and advanced statistical modeling to ensure objective results. The Rotor Sail offered clear savings against these criteria and adds to a growing list of innovative eco-efficiency technologies that have proved themselves through robust data collection and advanced analytics,” said Esa Henttinen, Executive Vice President, NAPA.

“We are proud to be the first shipowner to install the Norsepower Rotor Sail, and demonstrate that wind propulsion technology has verifiable 5 percent fuel savings on a yearly basis, can be retrofitted without any off-hire costs, and is extremely easy to use in practice. It’s our goal to find ways to establish sustainable shipping with minimal impact on our environment,” said Jörgen Mansnerus, Vice President, Bore.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. When the wind conditions are favorable, Norsepower Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Rotor sails can be used with new vessels or can be retrofitted on existing ships without off-hire costs. The installation was completed in two parts: the required foundations were installed during a normal dry-dock stay, followed by the 18-metre-high rotor during an ordinary seven-hour harbor stay.

Norsepower is one of several technology companies participating in a joint program of Carbon War Room and UCL Energy Institute to fast-track adoption of emerging wind-propulsion technologies by the shipping industry.

“Modern wind systems are demonstrating measurable and meaningful fuel savings for ships. As wind propulsion, air bubble systems and other ground-breaking technologies are increasingly adopted and become mainstream, the industry will reap the rewards of lower fuel costs—more sustainable than those from short-term price decreases, and be able to stay ahead of external pressures,” says Jose Maria Figueres, Chairman, Carbon War Room.