Efficiency is the key to success. That certainly applies to shipping, with environmental regulations becoming stricter and fuel prices rising sharply. So it is only logical that efficiency and green technology are right at the centre of SMM, the world’s leading maritime industry fair, to be held at the Hamburg Fair site from September 4 to 7.

“We are going through a period of change in shipping, towards more ecological propulsion systems, and our company plays a major part in that,” says Jan Volkert Wibel, Head of Marine Engines & Petroleum at Zeppelin Power Systems. “That will undoubtedly be a focus for the players in the maritime industry at this year’s SMM.” The shipping lines are looking for solutions – and finding them at SMM, at the stands of shipyards, equipment suppliers and engineering service providers.

Making full use of potentials

ABB is supporting shipping lines with its innovative energy management system EMMA, helping them to maximise the efficiency of their ships. “The system is expected to pay for itself in less than a year at today’s fuel price levels,” says Mikko Lepistö, responsible for Advisory Systems within ABB’s Vessel Information and Control division (VICO). “Industrial experience and onboard tests show that the system can help our customers to make significant fuel savings, and thus to reduce emissions.”

The Finnish engine builder Wärtsilä is changing its two-stroke engine programme over to long-stroke engines. They use up to 10% less fuel than conventional engines, and run at relatively low engine speeds. That permits the use of bigger propellers, with corresponding efficiency benefits. The new X92 series is designed such that it is also suitable for the largest container vessels currently planned.

The new 16,000 TEU mega-carriers also require special steering gear – such as the record breaking 93m2 TLKSR system from specialist Becker Marine Systems. The Becker Mewis Duct, a nozzle fitted in front of the propeller with an integrated fin system, increases propeller efficiency in loaded condition by up to 6%.

The use of LNG as fuel remains the greatest challenge for the industry. The viability of this concept for container ships has just been demonstrated by MAN Diesel Turbo, one of the world’s leading engine manufacturers, in a joint study with classification society Germanischer Lloyd. “The LNG plant can pay for itself in less than two years in smaller ships that spend two thirds of their time in ECAs,” says Dr. Pierre C. Sames, Head of Research & Development at GL. The Norwegian classification society DNV has already presented a number of design studies for future ships powered by LNG.

Alongside technological know-how, smart networking is also becoming more and more important – “Developments in the propulsion train are good examples of that,” says Prof. Gerhard Jensen, CEO of Schottel, a propulsion specialist, “because only technological leaders with system expertise are capable of optimising energy efficiency and thus the environmental characteristics of the ship as a system.” That applies not only to new vessels, but for the whole of the life cycle of a ship.

Fit for the future

Thus “refitting” is gaining in importance, that is retrofitting new technologies to currently operating ships. Operation in ECAs is a key reason for using LNG propulsion systems, and above all for retrofitting scrubber systems to remove emissions from exhaust gas. And from 2016 onwards, following majority ratification of the ballast water convention, its rules could be applicable to nearly the whole of the world’s merchant fleet – an enormous market. “A scrubber, including its installation, costs several million, and the cost of a ballast water treatment plant can also go into seven figures,” says Rüdiger Pallentin, Managing Director of Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven. Equipment suppliers such as MWB, Alfa Lavalle, Mahle and RWO present their latest solutions for this purpose at SMM.

Conference generates ideas

The global maritime environmental congress (gmec), a premier event at SMM, features discussion with the experts, and competition between ideas. It will be held on 3 and 4 September, when experts will discuss the key questions of maritime environmental protection at the Hamburg Fair site. One of the major points of discussion will be the two new benchmarks which have just been adopted by IMO: the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which sets targets for the design of new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), which sets the standard for more efficient ship operating. “An event such as gmec on the occasion of SMM opens up opportunities for exchange of opinion during the event, and for informal exchanges afterwards. That is because the most important people are there at the same place, at the same time,” says Henrik O. Madsen, CEO of Det Norske Veritas.

Background – SMM 2012

SMM, shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology international trade fair hamburg, like gmec, has the patronage of Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel. SMM is the top event in the international maritime industry calendar, and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It is the ideal forum to present products, see innovations, meet new customers, cultivate relationships and close deals – with 2,000+ exhibitors from more than 60 countries on over 90,000 sqm of exhibition space at SMM 2012 from 4 to 7 September; more than 50,000 trade visitors are expected.

Highlights alongside gmec include the SMM Ship Finance Forum hosted by HMC jointly with Financial Times Deutschland, and MS&D, international conference on maritime security and defence. Another regular feature is the SMM Offshore Dialogue, held for the second time this year, with industry experts discussing oil and gas production at sea and offshore wind energy. Trade visitors from all parts of the world can also look forward to an extensive supporting programme with more than 150 programme items.

For further information, please visit the website smm-hamburg.com