Friday, December 4, 2009

New British Research Scheme Set Up To Tackle Shipping Emissions

Ambitious Project to Investigate All Aspects of Complex Problem
Shipping News Feature

UK – A new initiative has been launched by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to study both ways to tackle the problem of emissions created by the global shipping industry and the effect new legislation will have on the UK’s shipping industry, a substantial employer with over 200,000 people in Britain either directly involved or employed by associated service industries.

In order to achieve this one of the most ambitious research schemes ever launched in the freight field is proposed, to take consideration over a wide, multi-disciplinary area so as to fully assess the complex relationships between shipping and emissions between now and 2050.

The ‘Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach’ study is an EPSRC and industry funded collaborative project between five UK Universities (UCL, Newcastle, Hull, Strathclyde and Plymouth) who will work as a consortium alongside a range of industrial partners such as Lloyds Register, Shell, Rolls Royce and David MacBrayne. By collaboration in this way it is hoped to identify the best ways shipping can respond to the challenge of a carbon constrained future and reduce its CO2 emissions.

The work will be broken down into separate components with different universities exploring such fields as improvements in ship design through the use of new technologies, improvements in logistic chains and ship operations, efficiency improvements in port operations and intermodal systems, economic changes around the world that will occur with global warming and the impact of regulation from carbon trading schemes and fuel taxation.

Speaking to Handy Shipping Guide on the project Tristan Smith, a naval architect and research associate at University College London, said that: “We are really excited about this unique project.”

He added: “We have had terrific interest and support from a large range of companies, both in the UK and abroad, from across the broad spectrum of disciplines involved in shipping and with their help the five UK universities involved hope to produce significant progress towards the objective of reducing shipping’s CO2 emissions.”

The first meeting of the academic and industrial partners was hosted by Lloyds Register last week. The project, scheduled to begin in January 2010 and last for three years, has already received funding to the tune of £1.7 million from EPSRC.

Anyone wishing to know more on the project can find it here.