Blue Visby Maiden Trial Shows Promising Shipping Emissions Reduction

May 23, 2024by CN_MAR

The first prototype trials of the Blue Visby software have resulted in significant CO2 savings, confirmed by the Blue Visby Consortium.

The initial voyages occurred in March and April 2024 with the bulk carriers M/V Gerdt Oldendorff and M/V Begonia. Under voyage charter to Blue Visby Consortium member CBH Group, these ships performed ballast voyages to CBH Group’s Kwinana Grain Terminal in Australia.

The trials led to CO2 savings of 28.2% for M/V Gerdt Oldendorff and 12.9% for M/V Begonia, averaging 17.3%, measured against the vessels’ service speeds of 14 knots. For M/V Gerdt Oldendorff, the trial resulted in 7.9% CO2 savings against its intended voyage speed of 12 knots. If required to speed up to 14 knots to meet a laycan, the potential CO2 savings would have been 28.2%.

The Blue Visby Solution is an integrated system that notifies ships of the optimal arrival time, eliminating the “Sail Fast, Then Wait” practice. It analyzes factors like weather, vessel performance, and congestion at the destination. The solution includes information systems to support measurement and a contractual architecture for cost and benefit sharing.

Decarbonization 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 decarbonization strategy for all maritime stakeholders: shipowners, charterers, traders, cargo interests, terminals, and ports,” said Haris Zografakis and Pekka Pakkanen, coordinators of the Blue Visby Consortium.

Various benchmarks were tested, including speed, RPM, laycan dates, and “Business As Usual” assumptions. Parties chose to calculate the financial value of fuel savings and ocean passage prolongation using contract rates or market rates provided by the Baltic Exchanges, also a Consortium member. They reached a commercial agreement on the benchmark for the benefit-sharing mechanism.

The CO2 savings in the CBH Prototype Trials were consistent with previous studies: (a) a 2023 pilot program with ten voyages averaged potential CO2 savings of 18.9%; and (b) hindcast simulations of 284 voyages from November 2021 to August 2023, which showed potential CO2 savings of 25.6% on average.

During these prototype trials, all components of the Blue Visby Solution were rigorously tested, including software, technical and operational systems, and the benefit-sharing mechanism (“Blue GA”).

It was also demonstrated that the Blue Visby Solution does not interfere with weather routing, voyage planning, or the timing of berthing—all of which were managed by the participants. The operational robustness of the Blue Visby Solution was proven when one vessel needed to deviate without disrupting the trial.

“The operational side of the Blue Visby Solution was rigorously tested in the CBH Prototype Trials, both in its interaction with the software systems as well as with the vessels. The robustness of our systems was proven when we had to deal with operational complexities when one of the ships had to deviate. We have also learned valuable lessons about the outlook of vessels’ crews and how they can provide support,” said Risto-Juhani Kariranta, CEO of AHTI Climate.

Data from the CBH pilot program in 2023 and the 2024 prototype trials are consistent with earlier studies and hindcast simulations of 20,580 voyages worldwide of 3,651 Panamax vessels in 2022, showing potential CO2 savings of 23.2% (median) by applying the Blue Visby Solution.

The accumulating evidence demonstrates that systemic optimization of ocean passages can substantially reduce emissions without disrupting the commercial and contractual structure of bulk maritime trade. The Blue Visby Solution requires no CAPEX, is compatible with other emission-reducing measures, and its benefit-sharing mechanism removes the obstacle of split incentives, creating financial benefits for all participants.

The CBH prototype trials are part of a broader program across various geographical areas and market segments, involving more Blue Visby Consortium members: Marubeni, Port of Newcastle, and Port Authority of New South Wales. Further prototype trials with a wider group of participants are expected in the coming months as the R&D phase concludes and commercial deployment begins.

“We are very excited to see the results of the first Prototype Trials, conducted with invaluable support from Consortium member CBH Group. All components of the Blue Visby Solution were tested: contracts, software, operations, and the benefit-sharing mechanism. While both the Virtual Pilot Program and the Prototype Trials will continue in the coming months, we are on track for commercial deployment this year,” said Christian Wounlund, CEO and Director of Blue Visby.

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