DFDS to drastically reduce its environmental footprint

2020-09-12T08:09:06+00:00 September 12th, 2020|Environment|

Copenhagen-headquartered freight and passenger ferry operator DFDS has unveiled plans to make the company climate neutral by 2050.

The company’s short-term plan is to reduce emissions by about 45 % from 2008 to 2030 with the main focus being on existing vessels and minor technical upgrades.

Solutions, such as correct vessel hull coatings and decision support systems on board and in the office, will be introduced The fleet will also undergo major upgrades, with bulb and propeller modifications.

DFDS said that the plan is based on careful analysis of how the company operates today, and which areas have the greatest potential for improvement.

At present, the company operates its vessels with the help of a monthly fuel report, but there are no insights as to what is behind the numbers produced.

The crews and their shore-side support teams need better information on how they can operate in a more fuel-efficient way. To attain this, DFDS said it will use a tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) that will monitor vessel operations.

“This new smart AI system located on the vessels’ bridge will give the crews qualified directions on what is the right speed and also real-time advice on which route will help the fuel on board last longer. After a crossing, there will be a report on what the crew has done well in terms of consuming fuel, and also where they can improve,“ explained Head of Projects & Implementation in DFDS’ Technical Organisation, Jacob Pedersen.

Small amounts of methanol will be added to the existing propulsion machinery on many vessels 4-stroke engines that are fitted to the majority of the fleet.

Together with onsite-produced hydrogen, the methanol will be injected into the combustion chambers, replacing up to 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil needed for the same voyage today.

This technology is still under development and it is expected to be approved by engine manufacturers this year. Initial testing has been undertaken and the results look promising, DFDS claimed.

By undertaking this initiative, the company said that it hoped to be able to drive the market demand for sustainable fuels such as green methanol, one of several fuel sources being investigated.

“We are constantly scanning the market to pinpoint new ways of optimising what we have,” said DFDS’ Vice President of Technical Organisation, Thomas Mørk. “We continuously assess where we should set in based on where we can harvest the greatest effect.

“The bottom line is that not only are we saving the environment from thousands of tonnes of CO2 every year, we are also able to work with fuel consumption in a smarter way. In time, this will help us run our vessels cheaper and greener and that just makes good business sense,” Thomas said.