Investing in fuel efficiency

27 April 2016

Höegh Autoliners is committed to minimise the environmental impact of our activities. Our newbuildings are designed and existing vessels maintained, with this in mind. During the latest drydocking of Höegh New York, the vessel underwent several upgrades which will reduce the vessel's fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases and other substances to the air.

“Emissions from vessels is closely related to the amount of fuel burnt. Through studies and experience over many years, we have learned a lot about what can be done to reduce fuel consumption. This experience, together with the latest industry insights in the field of fuel efficiency, have been brought in when designing the New Horizon series, a new generation of vessels with significant improvement in environmental performance. For vessels already in our fleet, improvements are being made as the vessels are docked for maintenance. Examples of such improvements are modifications to the vessels hull and propellers, hull and propeller maintenance and marine coating”, says Steinar Løvdal, Chief Operating Officer Deep Sea. "There are both relative quick wins and more costly and expensive investments that can be made to reduce a vessel’s environmental footprint."

When Höegh New York underwent drydocking this April, several updates were made to improve her fuel efficiency. The eleven-year-old vessel received a new bulbous bow, a propeller boss cap fin and a new hull coating.

New Bulbous Bow

H New York docking April 2016-new bulbous bow
Replacing a vessel's bulbous bow requires a significant investment, but the fuel saving potential is significant – in some instances in excess of 5 percent.

When Höegh New York and her sister vessels were built, the bulbous bows were designed for a service speed of about 20 knots. Since then, the speed at which we normally operate has been reduced to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The lower speed makes the original bulbs too wide and aggressive in the water. After a thorough design and test process, Höegh Detroit was the first vessels to be retrofitted with a slimmer bulb when she was docked in 2014.

We have seen positive results from the bulb replacement, and Höegh New York is now the sixth vessel in Höegh Autoliners’ fleet to receive a new bulbous bulb. We will also replace the bulb of Höegh Jacksonville when she docks in May this year.

Propeller Boss Cap Fin

Another fuel-saving investment made during the docking, is the fitting of a Propeller Boss Cap Fin (PBCF). This is a small propeller-looking device that is mounted behind the ship’s propeller in order to reduce the energy loss in the propulsion process.

Harald Henriksen, Head of Technical Fleet Management says;

PropellerBossFinCap on H New York

This is another example of steps taken to reduce our environmental footprint. According to tests done by the supplier, we can expect a fuel and emissions reduction of about 1-2% with the PBCF applied.

New Hull Coating

Using a high quality anti fouling coating on the hull limits the growth of organisms on the vessel. A cleaner hull gives less water resistance and reduced fuel consumption. With a regular coating, growth of organisms can increase resistance with as much as 5-10 % over a five-year period. By using an advanced hull coating, such as the Jotun X200, the degradation is expected to be less than 2% over the same time period. This results in a saving of about 2,5- 5 tons of fuel per day per vessel, corresponding to a similar reduction in emissions.

The first vessel we used this paint on was Höegh Bangkok in 2012, and we have had very good results on her during these years. This year we apply the Jotun X200 paint on about 70 percent of the vessels that we are docking. The remaining vessels we dock get other high quality antifouling paint.

Höegh New York being escorted by tugs out of the dock, ready to sail after her upgrade:

Höegh New York being escorted by tugs on her way out of the dock.