CBH Group averages 17.3% CO2 reduction in Blue Visby trial

The first prototype trials of the Blue Visby Solution, a project designed to mitigate ‘sail fast then wait’ operations, claim to have delivered CO2 savings of 17.3% on average during voyages carried out on vessels under voyage charter to Blue Visby Consortium member CBH Group.

The first voyages of the Blue Visby prototype trials took place in March and April 2024 with the bulk carriers Gerdt Oldendorff and Begonia, which performed ballast voyages to CBH Group’s Kwinana Grain Terminal in Australia.

The trials resulted in CO2 savings of 28.2% for Gerdt Oldendorff and 12.9% on Begonia, an average of 17.3%, measured against the vessels’ respective service speeds of 14 knots. In the case of the Gerdt Oldendorff, the prototype trial resulted in CO2 savings of 7.9% measured against the vessels intended voyage speed of 12 knots. If the vessel was required to speed up to 14 knots, for example to meet a laycan, then the potential CO2 savings would have been 28.2%.

A number of alternative benchmarks were tested involving speed, RPM, laycan dates and ‘business as usual’ assumed conditions. The parties also had a choice as to whether to calculate the financial value of fuel savings and of the extended duration of the ocean passage by using contract rates or market rates provided by the Baltic Exchanges (also a Blue Visby Consortium member).

Blue Visby says that the level of CO2 savings in the CBH prototype trials were consistent with studies conducted previously, during a pilot programme in 2023, during which ten voyages produced an average of potential CO2 savings of 18.9%, as well as a series of hindcast simulations of 284 voyages in November 2021-August 2023, which produced potential CO2 savings of 25.6% on average.

For these latest prototype trials, all components of the Blue Visby Solution were deployed and subjected to testing: software, technical and operational system, as well as its benefit-sharing mechanism. The tests also confirmed that the Blue Visby Solution did not interfere with weather routing, voyage planning or the timing of berthing – all of which were left in the hands of the participants.

“Decarbonisation is unattainable without energy efficiency, and energy efficiency is impossible if ships continue to Sail Fast Then Wait. The CBH prototype trials demonstrate that the Blue Visby Solution will be a central element of any successful decarbonisation strategy for all maritime stakeholders: shipowners, charterers, traders, cargo interests, terminals and ports,” said Haris Zografakis and Pekka Pakkanen, co-ordinators of the Blue Visby Consortium.

Sail Fast Then Wait (SFTW) policies are responsible for about 20% of shipping’s carbon footprint, according to Blue Visby. The consortium’s system aims to combat this through a combination of software, operations and contracts, so as to systemically optimise the ocean passage of participating ships and thereby reduce CO2 emissions.

The concept also includes a benefit-sharing mechanism called Blue GA, inspired by the maritime principle of general average, which incentivises participation and removes the obstacle of split incentives.

The CBH Prototype Trials are part of a wider programme across different geographical areas and market segments, involving more members of the Blue Visby Consortium: Marubeni, Port of Newcastle and Port Authority of New South Wales. Prototype trials with a wider group of participants will be conducted in the coming months, as the R&D phase of the Blue Visby is completed and commercial deployment begins, the project partners said.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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