Thursday, June 4, 2020

Freight and Passenger Ferries Lead the Way in Drive to Cut Maritime Emissions

Annual Report Shows Environmental Targets Reached a Decade Early
Shipping News Feature

SWEDEN – EUROPE – With the entire shipping sector focusing very much on reducing emissions and improving sustainability, the ferry companies probably have the potential to make rapid and effective improvements more than any other part of the maritime industry. With the potential of electric RoRo vessels which make comparatively short voyages, such as the pictured Stena Elektra, due to enter service by 2030, the freight and passenger short sea businesses are likely to be in the vanguard of environmental changes.

Despite a tough situation for the ferry industry due to Covid-19, ferry shipping companies such as Stena Line continue to try and improve their environmental credentials. The introduction of new RoPax vessels on the Irish Sea route last year saw the newly built Stena Estrid and Stena Edda achieve best in class Eco-label ratings, and in the newly published overview, ‘A Sustainable Journey’ (downloadable HERE), the Swedish based company presents its take on initiatives, improvements and challenges within the area, as well as giving an account of its ambitious sustainability targets.

The annual review covers all the salient points so far achieved, from reducing almost all single use plastic on board the ships, cutting harmful chemicals and detergents and principally, reducing total CO2 emissions by 1.7%, equivalent to 24,000 tonnes of CO2 in total.

This reduction in pollution equated to CO2 emissions per transported tonne of freight and passenger vehicles on board the vessels cut by 3.6%. Stena says this means it has reached the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) targets for 2030 of a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions efficiency from 2008-2030, a full decade before the target date. Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line commented:

“We aim to be the leader in sustainable shipping and we have high ambitions. During the last ten years we have improved the efficiency with more than 320 energy efficiency actions on board and onshore, both technical and operational improvements and investments.

”The introduction of AI assisted vessels and the delivery of our first new larger and energy efficient vessels that went into operations on the Irish Sea during the spring, are some highlights from last year. We are currently working in parallel with reducing fuel consumption, and emissions to sea and air and at the same time exploring and evaluating the fuels for the future.

”We are currently involved in several projects with alternative fuels and propulsion, including the world’s first methanol powered vessel and a battery project with the aim of launching a fully battery powered vessel before 2030.”

Photo: An artist’s impression of the proposed all electric Stena Elektra